Keswick Ridge 1880

The Turkeys

The gobbler was a mighty lord
Who strutted for all eyes to see.
And he kept ever a drawn sword,
As one 'Who claimed the mastery.

He and the rooster! How they fought!
Both full of courage a were and strong.
This to the battle each one brought.
The battle often lasted long.

The turkey hens would never fight.
They had their own tasks to perform.
The little ones were their delight,
And they took care to keep them warm.

The hens were layers. They would lay
All through the Summer it appeared.
They loved to hide their nests away
As if discovery they feared.

It was quite easy to find out
When a hen turkey had a nest.
Then some one had to act as scout
To find the nest, For this was best.

It seldom was an easy task.
The birds were cunning. They could run
And they took care their nests to mask
In break or bush. This they would shun.

Wit matched with wit unequally.
The nest was always found at last.
But boys and girls viewed ruefully
The time they in the searching passed.
The Turkey is a wild game bird
Which has been tamed, and now is found
Where once its voice was never he, rd.
It seeks its food upon the ground.

They could be found on every farm
Some four score years ago, and less;
But even then they did much harm
This is a fact we must confess.

Large eggs and plentiful they laid.
The young would hatch in early June,
And for a time much work they made.
Their first real feathers were a boon.

The young had need to be kept dry,
But as they grew, they hardy grew.
And they would wander far away
Returning when the day was through.

Line fences nothing meant to them
They went wherever they did pleas.
This did them in the end condemn
For what they wanted they would seize

A neighbour's grain was never safe.
His turnips they could injure, too.
This could not but a neighbour chafe,
And this no wiseman wished to do.

And so the turkey ceased to be,
To the regret of many folk,
But they have left a memory
Which may a rhymers thought provoke.


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