My Christmas dinner has just bitten me.
Well, all right, pecked me then. But when your Christmas dinner is the size of a rottweiler it feels like you’ve been savaged.
I’ve seen turkeys in butchers’ shops! They’re about the size of a football… maybe a soccer ball. But not when you add on all the pomp and circumstance. Kitted up, they strut about like something out of a gay mardi gras; all feathers and hot air.
The bastard drew blood!
There are two of them, actually. My daughter gave them to us. They were given to her, but after a couple of weeks she thought it would be a nice gesture to pass them on to us so we could have organically grown, free-range turkeys for Christmas dinner.
I want to make the same gesture to some of our other relatives but I think she warned them.
One of these turkeys is a stag, one is a hen. They don’t call turkeys cocks, as they do with less predatory avian species, like chooks, or robins. They call them stags, after those big things. With antlers. I’m just grateful it’s not the rutting season. I think it’s winking at me.
I’ve become a prisoner in my own home. I peek out the windows to see where it’s lurking before I make a bolt to the shed. I’m in with a chance if it’s at the front and I leg it out the back door, but it’s a close thing.
I think it knows that I’m the Hannibal Lecter of turkeydom. When the time comes I’m going to sharpen the axe and I’m going to teach it which species has the brain the size of the tennis ball, and which one has a brain the size of a pea.
At least, that’s the theory. In practice (and I hope turkeys can’t read) I don’t think it’s going to be that easy. I was more confident when they were first gifted to me. I’ve wrung the necks of numerous chickens. There’s a knack… you pick them up, massage their necks till they go dopey; move your grip to the feet and pull your arms in opposite directions. Hard and quickly. The theory is that they don’t feel a thing.
But the theory falls to bits when you’re talking turkey.
Pick it up? Pick it up! The bloody thing is nearly as tall as I am. If I pick it up its beak will be level with my eyes. And it’s impossible to hold its feet and its neck at the same time.
But I have a plan. I’m going to open the roller door on the garage about 30cms and drop some grain on the inside, where I’ll be hiding with the axe. When it stretches its neck through – whammo!
And I won’t be apologising either. I’ve seen those ethnic movies where the Kalahari pygmies kill antelope and tell it — while they disembowel it — how sorry they are.
This is different. This is more like those ethnic stories, where you take the power of your enemy by eating him. With cranberry sauce and roast potatoes.
Why then, is he smiling? I think it’s because he knows something I don’t. He’s already had a taste of me, and all I’ve had of him is turkey poo on the bottom of shoe.