Turkeys in the Truck

Years ago, when Tom was the only turkey on the farm, he would spend the day staring at himself in the big shiny bumper of my ex-husband’s truck. That was when Tom wasn’t doing his best to be a dog. Every time I saw him doing this, I’d laugh and call out, “Polly want a cracker?” Then he got new hens and became the patriarch of forty (then even more), and his affection for that bumper died.

Or so I thought.  He’s ba-a-ack!

I’ll admit I knew he was bringing his two hens, one of which is definitely on some sort of brain-damaged turkey spectrum, to the house. The new guy in my life discovered turkey footprints in the frost on his hood the other day.  When he mentioned that, I grinned and welcomed him to the farm. At least it was only footprints.

Yesterday, I looked out the window and discovered Tom once again admiring himself in the bumper of my Big, Black Beast. Back and forth, he walked, peering closely at the turkey who kept following him. As he went, he made that purring noise that sounds puny but is actually a fairly dangerous threat. However, he wasn’t poking at his reflection. Then again, he’d never attacked his reflection back when he was all alone. I’d put that up to him being the only turkey around and needing to see something–anything– that looked like him.

Once again, here he was, talking to himself as if he were all alone. I eyed him in confusion. But he has his two hens. Okay, one and a half hens. I’ve more than once seen Tom trying to correct the behavior of that little not-quite-right girl. It doesn’t help. She’s still more likely to run in circles than pay attention to him.

But what about little Red, the granddaughter of my original reddish-tinged hen? Sigh, I miss that hen. I wrote about her years ago, about how she laid more than a dozen and a half eggs, only to have three of her sisters/cousins/aunties steal all her babies. What did she do? She hurried back to the nest and laid another dozen eggs, only to once again have her kinswomen try to steal her babies.  I stole a few back and returned them to her. Among those was her daughter and twin, who went on to have this third-generation red hen. Red #3 is the one who hatched out almost ten babies last summer, only to lose all but one–a little tom who’s now in my freezer–to the ravens. What is it with these Red girls and their babies?

Anyway, Red #3 is solid. She’s quick to clean Tom’s feathers and follow him wherever he goes while I have to rescue Gone Girl, who’s always on the wrong side of the fence.

As Tom purred his way toward the far end of the bumper, Red came around the edge of the truck. She hurried to catch up to her guy, glancing at herself in the bumper with every other step . Then from the pickup bed, Gone Girl looked around the edge of the cab at me. That had me laughing. Apparently, all birds–even farm birds– can’t resist their own their reflections.

I considered driving them off, but reminded myself it’s a farm truck. Bear’s already made certain of that. It’s his fault it’s dented. Besides, they were having too much fun to worry about what sort of presents they might leave me. “Pretty birds!” I called to them and let them be.


Snow Day

Okay, be kind, dear relatives from Duluth. I know you sneer each time I mention it, but I have snow! The big, heavy flakes began drifting downward at 10:30 this morning. I rushed outside to take a picture, only to discover you can’t take pictures of snow, at least not right after the storm starts.… Continue Reading

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

It’s almost Christmas on the farm and that means…nothing. I don’t decorate, not inside, not with indoor cats. A Christmas tree is nothing but a challenge to a cat. They race to the top, then challenge each other to see who can knock off the most ornaments. Put a pine bough and a sprig of… Continue Reading

Egg Dreams

Now, onto my persistent egg dreams. For the first time in seven years I have no chickens and no fresh eggs except for those I buy from my local farm buddies. Having to bridge the gap between those I buy locally with the occasional store-bought dozen is causing me serious stress. Each time I reach… Continue Reading

Tiny’s Shadow

The conversion of Lonely Girl from pig to sheep is now complete, at least in her mind and much to Tiny’s complete aggravation. That aggravation is complicated not just by Tiny’s certainty that Lonely Girl isn’t a sheep, but because the pig (She-ig? P-eep?) treats her the way Lonely Girl and her porcine sisters treated… Continue Reading

6 Sheep

This is an update on Lonely Girl. My last little (okay, not so little) piggy girl got tired of constantly complaining about being alone somewhere around the middle of last week. Once she realized that complaining wasn’t going to bring back her sisters, Lonely Girl took a look around and reconsidered her options. There weren’t… Continue Reading

Lonely Girl

It’s that time of year and four out of my five piggies are now gone. That leaves me with one lonely girl, who faces the same fate as her siblings later this week. But for the moment, she’s by herself for the first time in her life. It hasn’t been easy for her to make… Continue Reading

A Bit of Joy

Thank goodness for tenants and my piggy girls. If not for them, my continuing spate of catastrophes would have been hard to tolerate. This last week I discovered a crack in the water pipe leading to the house. How did I discover it? I was working in my kitchen when all of a sudden I… Continue Reading


“Really?!” I said, my head tilted up to the gorgeous blue sky on Thursday morning. I was limping again, having tweaked a tendon even though I don’t recall stepping wrong. I was standing near the pig shelter. Stretched out in front of me was my favorite piggy girl, the one who showed belly every time I… Continue Reading


Saturday evening, June gave me the spotted heifer I wanted so much. My first inkling that all was not going to go well was when I saw Little Iris’s hooves appear. Usually, calf hooves are aligned, hoof to hoof, knee to knee. Iris’s first hoof appeared by itself, and her second hoof appeared near the… Continue Reading