Encountering a wayward turkey


MONTCLARION NEWSPAPER – February 20  2009

I’VE JUST SPENT three days with a horse whisperer. That alone is odd enough turkey— but I’ve now got an irresistible urge to befriend anything with feathers or fur.

Take the gobbler on Scout Drive in Montclair. He’s become quite a celebrity in the neighborhood, stopping motorists on their way to and from Montara Middle School each day.

What a bold bird. He walks right into traffic and starts pecking on bumpers and eating bugs off car headlights.

Naturally, I’ve tried to reason with him. I found him in Nancy and Pete Klein’s yard, the other day, pecking in the long grass. I quietly approached him and he made a strange noise that sounded more like a wounded dog than a gobble. I understood it to mean he was lonely.

“He’s been ostracized,” said Nancy, meaning the other turkeys in the pack are ignoring him. She finds it as disturbing as I do, and she’s taken him under her wing.

That should be the end of the story. Estranged turkey finds home with human. But I can’t help but wonder why the other birds have cut him off. He’s out of the pecking order and I need to know why.

Sounds like a job for the bird whisperer. I’ll be going back down there this week — to talk a little turkey with the bad boys.

Friendly Skies: Oakland may be broke, but at least you can get free internet at the airport. Imagine my surprise when I turned on my laptop in the Southwest Terminal and found complimentary wifi, where it used to cost money. Now I’ve got something to do while I cool my heels for two hours before my flight.Bold Burglars: The “crime chatter” in the hills, these days, includes word of a car break-in outside the Claremont Hotel and Spa. The thieves took a purse that was under the front seat and then tried to withdraw money from the owner’s bank account. And while that’s not surprising, the crooks went a step further. They took tickets they found in the purse and attended a concert at Yoshi’s.

Freebie Alert: If you’re a fan of folk music (raise your hand if you’re over 50), you won’t want to miss Monday night’s concert at the Montclair Library from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Writer Tim Holt comes to town for a musical program on Woody Guthrie and the Great American Folk Song. As we say in Minnesota: Holt is a hoot!

Big Splash: Just when you think you know San Francisco, the folks at Ride the Ducks make a duck boat tour so cheap — it’s almost unbelievable. For $20 bucks ($10 for kids 5-17) you can ride on an amphibious vehicle through the streets of San Francisco, ending the tour with a hysterical plunge into the water at McCovey Cove. The price is good through April Fool’s Day, and I can tell you first hand — the tour is everything its quacked up to be.

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