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JEAN SHEPHERD AND TURKEYS

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Well, one thing about turkeys.  If you don’t know anything about turkeys, you’re going to learn something about turkeys.  The turkey has a mind of its own—what there is of it, it’s his own.  If he doesn’t want to move, he doesn’t move.  If he wants to do anything, he does it.  So these turkeys are walking ahead of me very leisurely, messing around.  One stops, and that gives the idea to four-hundred-twenty-eight turkeys that it’s stopping time.  They all stop.  Then the guy comes back and hollers at them in turkey-talk, gwaglewaglewagle gwaglewaglewagle!  They start moving sideways.  Back and forth go these turkeys.  Once in a while a big tom-turkey opens his big, fantastic tail like an enormous fan when he’d see a lady-type turkey showing up that looks kind of good to him.  He opens up his tail and starts showing off.  That tail is all part of the big act.  There’s yelling and hollering and all the other turkeys run over there and then they go back again and then he lowers his fan.

This chick is waiting for me in the next town and surrounding me is this mob of four-thousand angry, bugged, walking-around turkeys, and they loiter.  There’s nothing like a turkey for loitering.  They just don’t seem to have any purpose in life.

I start to edge forward, following the turkeys ahead of me.  I’m not going to stay here all night.  The turkeys from behind go around the car like a great river and I’m in the middle of a gigantic turkey-block, moving down this country road at, I would say, roughly, at about six or seven feet an hour.

More turkeys to come.

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