February 2nd, 2009

Animals - chicken love

In memory of Leland

Leland: 3/13/1998 - 1/31/2009
For nine years, you wowed crowds with your strutting display, your tail feathers proudly flashing.
You tried to impress the turkey girls - they clucked and turned away.
You attempted to woo the chickens - they ran away in horror.
So you turned to us humans, following us around, vibrating your feathers to make an impressive whirring sound.

You did not need to do much to find favor with humans - we adored your shining personality, your mood-bearing color changes and, of course, your quintessentially "turkey" display.

You lived life as a turkey should, with his own kind, safe from human predation and free to do what turkeys do. You dedicated your life to patrolling the poultry enclosure, monitoring the turkey ladies (hoping they might one day change their mind), and breaking up fights between the chickens. You have even saved a human or two from being attacked by Killer, the feisty (though tiny) rooster.

And, blessing of blessings, you lived most of your life free of pain and suffering. Your last few weeks were not the best but you made the best of them. And when your caregivers knew it was time to let you go, you did not resist but sighed heavily, in relief almost, and died peacefully.

We hope your life here was as enriching for you as it was for us and the thousands of people who were amazed by your beauty and splendor. Still, at the heart of it, we wish you were here, strutting and patrolling and just being you.