Monday, October 29, 2018

Why Cannot I be a Turkey?

by Madeleine Kando

Turkeys have invaded our backyard. Two mothers, one with eight babies, the other one with a lonely slightly bigger baby. The eight dwindled down to six, then to four as the spring went by, but finally mother nature settled on a number and the 5 of them have been steadily coming, always accompanied by the second mother and her lonely juvenile.

They used to be these adorable little fluff balls, but now I cannot tell who is who. Is it a mother or a baby? Is it a juvenile? I have to count them to make sure I am looking at the same group that we have been feeding throughout the spring and summer, against the advice of the ‘professionals’.

There is nothing ‘cute’ about them any more. They fight, chase each other, spread their large wings to scare each other off, and once in a while you see one fly into a tree, when they have had enough of the sibling rivalry. Yes, turkeys can fly. Not well, but enough to give the others the finger: ‘Fuck you, I am outa here’.

Now I am wondering: are they really the same turkeys as these cute little balls of feathers that first appeared in our yard? If they are like humans, new cells have replaced every single cell in their body multiple times. Just like new ‘Madeleine’ cells have replaced my cells at least 10 times, depending on which type of cells we are talking about. Except my brain cells; they have never been replaced. If you wonder about the poor quality of my writing, it is because I am writing with the same old brain cells that I was born with 75 years ago.

Wouldn’t it be polite of Mother Nature to ask what kind of cells we would like, before she just went ahead and did the switcheroo? We could order a sample of exotic cells, like in a restaurant. Maybe switch to turkey cells, or squirrel cells wouldn’t be so bad for a change. It would certainly get us out of our ever deepening groove, until we drown in our own shit.

It would open up an entire universe of options. A terrorist might realize that there is really no point in blowing himself up in the name of Allah, being a turkey and all. The TV evangelist would quickly lose its flock if he didn’t start a mating dance, puffing himself up twice his original size, his head turning from white to blue to bright red to impress his parishioners. And the white supremacist? Well, being white would definitely be a disadvantage; albino turkeys get picked on by other turkeys and are so visible that predators quickly gobble them up.

Besides, turkeys aren’t stupid. They don’t waste their short life span on wondering what the purpose of life is. They just ARE. On the other hand, if my cells were those of a sequoia tree, I would have so much time on my hands to meditate on life’s meaning that I would fall asleep.

And what if I was a rock? I would start out as magma, solidify, get buried under avalanches and eventually erode, but all that would take millions of years and would be tantamount to being immortal. The meaning of life is irrelevant for immortals. I would love to be a rock for a while, watch everything be born, mature and die. Over and over again, while I just sit there, comfortably observing without wasting an ounce of my energy.

Now that I think about it, the problem with us humans is that we live too long, which allows us to do a lot of damage and we don’t live long enough to witness the results of the damage we create.

So you see, being imbued with turkey cells would be the solution. They understand what it means to be realists, appearing in the twilight of the day, demanding their daily ration of birdseeds. I would pick the seeds out of the grass at lightning speed, my legs following my beak until all the seeds were gone and then groom myself for hours on end.

Of course, it wouldn’t all be sunshine and roses. But while I lived my brief turkey life, I would be ever so grateful that my cells would be those of a turkey. Not those of the absurd looking featherless creatures, roaming the forest with their sticks strapped over their shoulders, making the occasional horrible booming sounds. leave comment here