I live in the city. The houses are close together, the lawns are small. Things are rather orderly on my side of town: thugs and wannabe thugs alike are identifiable by their droopy drawers; bums sleeping under pine trees are required to clean up when they leave; dogs are on leashes, for the most part; cats creep along life’s wooded edges, eyeing juicy birds and untended grills; and children run free until curfew.
Winters in the city are much quieter than the summers, of course. The bums go to Florida, the thugs lie on couches in their moms’ basements, dreaming Kool-Aid-and-cough-syrup dreams; and the downstairs folks' cat, a stray who used at least one of his nine lives last January by nearly freezing to death, now lies in the sun that pours through their living room window, eyes closed and smiling.
But outside of the luckiest kitty in the world and the wily city bunnies, the odd raccoon, and the occasional park-bench drunk, there is little in the way of city wildlife.
Until now. Because now there are turkeys.
Friday evening, I watched a turkey hen run past my house and down the street, a large and rather ugly bird, strikingly out of place.
This was actually quite exciting. Not as exciting as the raccoon I surprised whilst he was rooting through my garbage a couple years ago, but then again it wasn’t 2:00 a.m., I wasn’t pleasantly inebriated and walking down the alley, and the turkey didn’t rear up on its hind legs and show me all his teeth.
Wild life in the city! My sister – who claims to see enormous “dinosaur” birds in the open fields around her house, by the way – wanted to know if I had plans to trap and eat it. I do not. I have no idea where that bird’s been, what it’s been eating, or who it’s friends with.
You cannot be too careful.
It is the city, after all.
4 hours ago