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Our neighbor, I’ll call him “Tom,” showed up last week to borrow a couple tools from my husband. The trim, grey-bearded horse owner fits in well on our dirt road where all us locals are different in our own way. His expression is bemused, his humor cynical. The house number stenciled on the rock near his driveway intrigues me with the message: “Friend of Larry’s.” Like the arena owner up the road, he loves his horses but doesn’t put up with nonsense from them.
He was telling us about it as he sat in our living room chatting — first about working years at the plant, being at the union, being gypped. Then the horse story, teaching one to mind the electric fence so he wouldn’t escape again. Also, how his aged horse died and how the equine buddy left behind is pining for his old friend.
I brought up a subject I’ve been curious about for some time. When we first moved here, there were peacocks. You could hear their strange calls all over the hills when you went for walks. What happened to them? And I’m still puzzled about the answer I got. Tom said that they bred with the small flocks of wild turkeys we see hanging around near our road. He said he’s seen these hybrids, and they are some ugly birds.
I’ve been thinking about Tom’s explanation, and I’m not sure whether it’s possible for a peacock to breed with a turkey. Maybe if the offspring were sterile, like mules, it could work? Surely not, as it’s been so many years that any offspring would have died out by now. That is, unless turkeys — or purkeys, or turcocks — outlive our domestic hens. Meanwhile, I’m keeping my eyes open for these creatures. I did notice that a lone young turkey wanders our property and seems to like our creek. I thought that might be one of the freaks, but on closer inspection, he seems like an ordinary turkey, after all.
April Showers Bring May Back Yards
The path to real spring was tortuous (and torturous sometimes, too) with endless gray days, mud, dripping dreary fog, and yet more snow when we longed for blue skies. But spring arrived (on a particular Saturday afternoon in April, as I mentioned before), and it’s glorious here. Some hard rains gave way to a lush, green landscape–not so many flowers yet in our neighborhood, but soft grass and fresh new leaves on the trees. I don’t complain about that. Speaking of the creek, here’s a view of our backyard today from our deck: Apparently, some individuals (males, to be specific) see this, and all they can think is, What a perfect place for target practice.Published in