Thursday, February 5, 2015

The turkey coalition

I was once again making my way up the Mississippi River on foot. I was near the area where lately I have been encountering this blog's spirit animal, the turkey, but I wasn't thinking about that. This is good because things like encounters with spirit animals only happen when you aren't expecting them. The sidewalks were icy and the skies were gray. A good deal of the snow had melted away from all the lawns and grassy medians. I was writing you a blog post in my head, but not this one. And then, all at once, there were turkeys. Eight turkeys!

They were hanging out peaceably on a patch of grass. Maybe the biologists would say they were feeding, because there was plenty for them to peck out on the ground, and that's what they were doing. An unusual south wind was ruffling their feathers, bringing more volume to them, and even more shades of dazzling browns and bronzes than was usual.

Eight turkeys.

The spirit animal of this blog is just a single turkey who bestows inscrutable wisdom upon us when we least expect it. So seeing eight spirit turkeys at once was highly instructive. It turns out that, much like the job of clerking, which inspires (provokes? illustrates?) much of this blog, the spirit animal duties performed by the spirit turkey is done by a coalition of turkeys. Eight of them work as a spirit turkey for this blog, but only one of them acts as the spirit turkey at any given time. This is much like how only one clerk at my library answers the phone at a time, but a large group of us will rotate through this position. This also explains a recent observation I made that every time I saw my spirit turkey it got bigger and bigger. The eight large turkeys pecking in the grass were none of them the same size as any other! As they have been making their sequential visits to me they have been working from smallest to largest, probably an efficient system for keeping track of whose turn it is.

So if all this is true, you might be wondering, why then was I coming upon all eight of my spirit turkeys at once?

Easy question. I was later than usual. None of these turkeys were on the clock. It was their lunch break.


  1. You said it would come and now here it is, the return of the spirit turkey. I am so pleased. I like that they lunch.

    1. Yes, me too. I was glad to see them off duty as it was so... clarifying. I was rather curious though as to what could be so plentiful in that patch of unassuming grass for a whole cotillion of turkeys to so richly lunch.


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