Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey day thoughts

wild turkey.jpg
A wild turkey, sighted at California's China Camp State Park in the fall of 2011; this too is one of the many parks California is closing or privatizing to balance its budget.

A least one of the founding fathers thought this native bird would have made a better national symbol than the one chosen.

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...

"... For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

Benjamin Franklin

The birds Franklin knew would have been smaller than the one many of us eat today, and if slaughtered, the meat would have mostly dark, unlike modern commercially farmed breeds who are all white breast.

I am not particularly a fan of the tradition of eating turkey on the Thanksgiving holiday, so I am glad to report that we're having duck. I don't know what Franklin thought of the duck. Best wishes to all on this most pleasant of holidays.

1 comment:

PseudoPiskie said...

The ducks don't bother me. The low flying turkeys I often see on the way to church do. I do not need to hit one of those huge projectiles as they fly cross the road in the early am.

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