I picked her from a vendor who sells gallinacean birds. In fact she was marked for slaughter. Her whitish feathers and plumes where mud brown out of dirt and the cramped existence in the abattoir. It has been three months since.
I and C used to talk to her when she, out of her curious and inquisitive self ventures on to the veranda of the house.. We used to tell her that she is a lucky turkey. And that seldom will people by fowls from an abattoir and domesticate them. Wonder if she understood us. Perhaps! She, along with the tom turkey we have, always preferred to be near us when we are outside the house. She with her mate used to follow us around the compound . Twice she fell into the pond, and had to be pulled out. She leans over the edge looking for insects by the ledge of the pond and also to quench .The good thing that came out of her two adventurous falls into water was that her muddy brown plume were washed off the dirt. and became milky white. She even started growing new bright white feathers. We called her ‘Old lady’. Because we did not know her age and presumed that since she was kept for slaughter she must be pretty aged. Sometimes she kept an imperious air. She was agile and some times ran quite fast when chased by the male or the ubiquitous guinea fowls.
She often jumps on to the chair in the verandah and purr. She I guess wanted to be seen sitting next to us. This happens most often in the morning when I and C sit on the verandah with our morning tea. She stretches her neck long and looks at us inquisitively.We felt she is a turkey with human sensibilities.
She had a very annoying habit of teasing the dogs especially Blacky, the
Labrador. She used to entertain herself at the dog’s annoyance. She used to stay very near his meshed enclosure and stare at him with a mocking air. The dog gets annoyed and absolutely exasperated that he barks and jumps all over wanting to pounce on her. The acrimony of the dog gets unbearable and we will have to shoo her farther away from the kennel.. C warned her of the danger of getting close to the dog enclosure and irritating it. But I guess she was indifferent to that advise.
Yesterday, strangely she decided to do something she has not done before. Take on the two Rotweillers at the other end of the compound, Rambo and the hyper bitch Emma.
The old lady perhaps found irritating the two dogs at the same time, quite enjoyable. She was moving around close to their enclosure teasing them and enjoying their irritated bark. But then she did the unthinkable. She pushed her head through the metal mesh into the enclosure and clucked at the dogs. And before she could wink or yelp Rambo the Rottweiller had her head in its mouth! It did not take longer than a couple of seconds. The old lady was limply flapping her wings, and head gone- decapitated – pulled out. The head was gone into the mouth of the Canine. It was ripped off from the torso. The strong jaw bones of the Rotweiller clapped the canines deep into the sides of her head and the force of the pull severed her head along with the strand of the wind pipe.She may not have realised the pain of the gruesome and brutal manner of death. It was swift!
It was stupid and casual of her to have put her head into the enclosure. Well then she did not realise the reprieve she got when we took her away from the slaughter house. Like many of us she took her life a bit casual and paid the price for the indifference in very, very dear terms.
She now is cleaned and dressed and in the freezer waiting to be meal for the dogs tomorrow.Sadly we found that she had been laying eggs some where in the compound and the crows where feasting on them- she was full of maturing eggs when we cut her open to remove her entrails.