The country lanes of Backroads are alive with tasty meals on hoof and wing. In the past thirty-six hours, The Pony and I have encountered four deer and twenty-nine turkeys within two miles of our country palace. Having neither license to kill, nor a knife for skinning, we continued on our way once the wildlife cleared our blacktop path.
The deer were browsing along the left side of the road. I rounded a curve, and said, "That's a big dog!" But it was a little deer. A doe. She scooted through the ditch and up into the woods, flipping her white tail at me, to join her band of merry men. Three little bucks stood staring at me. One a four-pointer. The other two with just a single little antler on each topside of their head. I didn't know bucks hung out together, but my students assure me that once rut is over, they do.
The turkeys showed up this evening, around 4:30, as we were coming down Mailbox Hill. I have to watch it, because one side is still icy from Sunday morning. As I topped the hill, foot poised over the brake pedal, I saw birds walking across the road. Like those animated ones at the beginning of The Partridge Family. These were no partridges. Not colorful. Nary a Keith, Laurie, Danny, Chris, Tracy, or Shirley in the bunch.
I started to count them. Not like sheep. I was already yawning and ready for a nap. Every time I tell Hick that I saw turkeys, he asks how many. One, two, three...they kept coming out of the woods on the left, crossing to the right. Too bad the possums weren't there to take notes. I was a bit apprehensive that a BigFoot-type truck would run up on me. But still, I sat in a stationary Tahoe and counted turkeys. The Pony joined in. As soon as one would run into the right-hand woods, another would emerge from the left. They were like short feathered clowns without a car. No end in sight. It was like the Beatles crossing Abbey Road. If there were twenty-nine Beatles. And if some of them could fly.
Oh, they fly, you know. Contrary to WKRP folklore. I can't speak for tame fancy eatin' turkeys. Or for those dropped from a plane. But the wild turkeys surely do fly from the ground up into the trees. The are not graceful downy ballerinas. But they achieve lift-off. They sound like a squadron of helicopters when they do it. Some of the latter road turkeys took off into the wild gray yonder. More flew out of the left-hand trees and across the road. Kind of like Duck Hunt. But without a Nintendo red shooter. It's a good thing they stopped at twenty-nine, because The Pony and I were approaching our finger/toe counting limit.
Hick the unofficial Doomsday Prepper would be pleased to hear of my experiences. He does not actively prep like the Nat Geo show people. He just talks about it a couple times a month. "I got this little bucket at the auction. Do you know why it's so skinny? So it can go down the well pipe. If we lose all electricity and can't get gas for the generator, WE will have water. People coming out of the city trying to live here won't have clean water. They'll have to boil their water." See what I mean? Left to my own devices, I would probably poke together a whole bunch of plastic straws and stick them down in the well pipe like a butterfly tongue sipping nectar from a flower. Which is actually not a tongue at all, but a specialized proboscis. Just humor me and play along. We don't have to be sciency specific all the time.
Meat on the hoof and wing means that it will take longer for Hick to resort to eating his precious chickens and goats. Of course, he does not like to hear that if we are in the midst of doomsday survival, the lack of medicine will do us in before we starve to death. He's probably on a quest to find folk medicine remedy recipes in an old armoire at an auction or flea market. And maybe another box of auction meat, which he WILL buy this time.
Actually, it would take quite a long time for either of us to starve to death.