Bigfork, Montana- This just in. . .turkeys are actually intelligent. I know we might not want to consider this possibility as we are about to devour millions of them, but for several weeks now I have been watching wild turkeys take turns knocking apples for each other out of the apple tree in my back yard. The hen that flies up to fan her tail and thus knock the fruit down does not eat right away, and she may not eat at all if the horses run down and chase away the turkeys. Two hefty toms have been shot by hunters, but this flock of hens and their yearling chicks is doing quite well without them, sharing and eating, and feeding the deer as well.
Turkeys can fly straight up into the air, which they do every night to roost high in trees to sleep. I only wish I had been able to get better footage of them this day, and I'll keep on trying. But just know that the reasons Ben Franklin tried so hard for the turkey to be the national bird, rather than our eagle, are plenty: Turkeys are gleaners and do not eat meat. They do not have to kill in order to survive. They work together for the good of the flock. And they take care of each other. As you eat turkey for Thanksgiving, as I will, you should know the bird is the perfect symbol of living in harmony without inflicting harm on any other living thing, except maybe bugs.