Amazing, isn’t it, how quickly things can change.
This afternoon Grant and I sat for a short while on the porch, enjoying the sound of birdsong and the mild temperature. We had dropped what we each had been doing to watch a pair of wild turkeys down the hill. Mrs T. was playing coy in my field while Mr T. strutted his frustration in the neighbor’s field behind the low wall.
It was all very pleasant and relaxing but eventually we returned to our abandoned tasks. In my case, I sat to compose today’s blog and I was just checking something out on Wikipedia when there was a loud explosion, somewhere very nearby. I ran to my bedroom, expecting to see a hole in the wall.
My bedroom was intact so I called out to see if Grant had got himself blown up somehow, but as I turned to run out to the living room, my eyes caught sight of a creature outside the window.
It was a wild turkey, in obvious distress. I now yelled for Grant and he came running as the turkey rounded the end of the house so we could see it from the office window. It was an awful sight. Grant ran for the door and I watched, knowing that he would end the poor creature’s terror and pain, though everything in me was praying for a miracle.
But of course there was no miracle. Grant did what he had to while I stood in the window, useless and falling to pieces. After a while I pulled myself together and went to join Grant out on the grass beside the now dead turkey.
We don’t know if it was a female or just an immature male, but it was a beautiful bird. I sat there stroking it’s still warm body as Grant walked off to be alone.
It had all taken maybe three minutes.
After a while I went to see where the bird had struck the house, seeking to find out what could have happened. I found masses of feathers but no clue why it would have flown straight into the side of the house.
I tried to comfort Grant who does not take lightly the task of ending an animal’s life. I am just so thankful that he was actually here and was able to do what he did. Had I been here alone I don’t know what I would have done. It was obvious what needed to happen, but I doubt I would have had the strength, never mind the will to do it. The bird was mortally injured, bleeding from the mouth and thrashing about. So sad.
I think part of the reason we were both so upset was that it happened so very suddenly. No time to think about it and the noise itself had startled us quite badly. When I think of all the really terrible things that happen to people all over the world every day, I ask myself why I would take the death of a wild bird so hard and I really don’t have the answer. I have always reacted this way when animals die. I imagine my parents thought I would grow out of it, but I never have.
I beheld the corpse of that wonderful creature and kept saying “I’m sorry, sweetheart, I’m so sorry.” Grant gently lifted it up and carried it down toward the woods where he laid it down as an offering to whatever creature may come this way tonight. Not too much later we saw “our” fox circling the body. It didn’t attempt to feast but moved off a little way and sat, as if keeping vigil. I suggested that maybe it was waiting for dark, but I have no idea about fox behaviour. I am sure someone will benefit from the loss.
Tomorrow I will attempt to return to the topic I was working on when our afternoon took a side turn. Today, I felt the need to tell this story.