On our morning walks my neighbor and I have rescued dogs, cats and even a pet ret. But the other day we had to lead wild turkeys across a busy road during morning commuter traffic.
“Come on, darlings,” cooed Hilde, as she encouraged the group of birds to the other side.
“Gobble gobble,” they replied.
I played the roll of Officer Michael from the book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Holding up my hands in the universal signal for stop, I stood in the center of the busy intersection until the first batch made it. Cars, school buses, and trucks obeyed. Several turkeys scurried back, unwilling to brave the long trek. Nodding, I mouthed, thank you to the drivers and moved aside. Drivers smiled and waved at us in return.
“Gobble gobble, gobble gobble,” said the lead turkey, waiting to cross; turning her head first left, then right, looking to see if the road was clear.
“Contrary to popular belief, these birds aren’t stupid,” I said.
“Smarter than humans,” said Hilde.
When we saw the turkey was ready to cross, we walked back into the middle of the street so the traffic could see us. One by one, the turkeys followed each other in a line. Everyone in the cars looked amused except one woman with two children in the backseat. When one turkey paused midpoint, trying to decide what to do, the woman in the car pounded the steering wheel.
Next, the woman, bashed her head against the steering wheel. Finally, the turkey made up its mind to go back where it came from. Now the woman threw her hands in the air. I can imagine her dialogue inside the vehicle. Would it be appropriate for children’s ears?
When the traffic cleared, we led the third group forward, this time without any turkeys changing their minds.
Whew. This was more exhausting than a vigorous hike. Now I knew what it felt like to be a mama turkey.
No. Don’t say it.
Now. On to America’s political conventions . . .
1. When the unexpected occurs in your story, remember to write about the reactions of characters. Check your latest work. Do you have characters react to others actions? Write about an action that causes several people to react.
2. Write about an event that causes one person to react with humor and another to react with tension.
3. When has something caused you to be late? Miss an important event? Write about this in a “missed opportunity” way and then write it in a humorous vein.