Tom Terrific "displaying" for photographer Astrid Pryor
Meet Tom Terrific, the Narragansett turkey. He's a sociable guy, in fact you could call him a party animal. If he hears human laughter nearby he bowls over and gobbles happily, joining in.
Tom lives in a pretty garden in Grass Valley, California where he and his lady turkey hens stroll and peck. Tom likes to gobble to his neighbors while they're gardening, or talk through the fence to his Afghan Hound pals. If there's no one around he goes to his owner's side door, walks up the steps, and taps on the glass.
Tom strutted to his front fence to chat me up one afternoon. His friendly gobble and intelligent eyes were irresistible. I'd always heard that turkeys were dumber than a box of rocks, but Tom certainly wasn't.
Tom Terrific looks like he just came off a Thanksgiving Day place card. His ancestors and their cousins, the Bronzes, are the archetypal birds we see in illustrations every November.
Tom descends from a cross of English turkeys and the wild Eastern Turkeys in America. Narragansett turkeys boast black and white barred feathers (the striped effect) and sociable temperaments.
Temperament matters these days, as poultry has caught the American imagination and backyard chickens are all the rage. If you want to stay a four-toed, salmon-colored, clawed-foot ahead in the stylish living race, why not get a turkey now, before the rush starts in 2010?
The Narragansetts need your help, as they are losing the popularity contest to the Bronzes. The Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities is concerned.
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