What? Mom’s Family Never had a Turkey?

My Uncle says that my mom’s  family never had a turkey.

Doesn’t sound like devastating news, right? But to me, it is surprising.

Jack and Ellen

My mom and Uncle Jack playing.

One of the stories I’ve been told since I can remember was about my uncle and his “pet” turkey.  The story goes that a turkey imprinted on my uncle and followed him around everywhere until one day when the turkey didn’t make it all the way through the spring loaded screen door.

When he was here a week ago, I asked my uncle to fill in the turkey saga details. He claims that there was never even a turkey, much less a pet one. He doesn’t have any idea why my mother would pass on such a story. He did vaguely remember and goose and “neck snapping incident.” But the goose was no friend of his. It was begging for food as the screen door slammed shut.

He also remembered that my mother was afraid of the geese. According to my Uncle Joe, my mom bawled when the goose pecked her. In a show of four-or-five-year-old male machismo, Uncle Joe protected three-year-old mom from the assault of a goose by grabbing the goose by the neck when the goose tried to peck her.

According to my mom, my Uncle Joe cried and cried when the “turkey” died. I think I even remember some debate about whether they were going to eat him. (This was a poor family during the depression.)

So why does it matter? The stories have the same sub-text. Mom and her siblings grew up together on a farm, interacted with the animals, had adventures, and loved each other. When one of them cried, it was a noteworthy event.

© Laura Hedgecock 2013

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