That is why this mornings encounter was such a surprise..
First there was a commotion in the yard Our male shepherd was stalking something. Then there was a whirl of black and white fur, flapping wings and grey-brown feathers. We called out, hurriedly retrieving our little buddy from his glorious chase.
To our surprise the feathers belonged to a large wild tom turkey. Along with three hens the bird had evidently been snatching food from the bird feeder-tub on the front porch.
After a few minutes every one had calmed down and our new acquaintances cautiously climbed the few steps back onto the porch.
We watched in awe. In a lifetime of experience and nature watching neither of us had ever been this close to a wild turkey. Normally these wary creatures flee in a panic before one even sees them. And these were completely wild birds.
After a time of viewing them through the large sliding door, I ventured to squat down and open it a crack. Speaking softly, I held out a handfull of seeds and corn. The turkeys chirped, gurgled and tweeted sweetly amongst themselves, seeming more cautious and curious than afraid.
Soon the hen with the bluest head approached. She held my gaze for a moment or two, considering. Then she actually took the feed. Slowly, gently I reached towards her with the other hand. We connected, my fingers brushing the feathery softness of her breast, the moment was powerful, pure.
The magic continued. For hours. My new friends were soon following along behind as I made my way to the barn for morning chores. They investigated everything. The buildings, the fences, the other animals. Then as I threw some scratch feed to Mr. Rooster and his hens, I called toward the turkeys. Gathering around my feet, they watched attentively as I tossed a little feed their way too.
Then it was back to the house. The turkeys stayed by the barn, hens feeding,. male intent on displaying and performing a little wing dragging circle dance. Claiming his girls, his new territory.
After a while I went back outside and called. It was truly amazing. There the turkeys came, slowly, single file, from the nearby cedar woods. Through the yard, up the path and back onto the porch to peck up the cracked corn placed in a pan for them.
And I've heard it said that turkeys are among the stupidest of animals. These amazing wild beings learned in one un-orchestrated session the meaning of my sing-song dinner call.
When you are your authentic self, walking in stillness, not wanting, nature and Mother Earth respond. Then, in innocence, true connection takes place.