Sarasota News Leader

11/16/2012

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ASK OTUS OTUS OFFERS ALL THE ANSWERS YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TURKEYS BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK We have a magnificent bird to admire as a symbol of our bounteous Thanksgivings: Me- leagris gallopavo, the Wild Turkey, as well as its two direct descendents, M. farmraisedo, the Domesticated, and M. permafrosto, the Frozen Turkey. As most people know, in a 1784 letter to his daughter, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin protested the official recognition of the Amer- ican Bald Eagle, and not the Wild Turkey, as the U.S. national bird. Franklin deemed the Bald Eagle "... a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly." Further, he is a cowardly and lazy thief (for stealing Ospreys' fish). By contrast, the Wild Turkey is a respectable original and courageous native of America. Franklin did concede that it could be a little vain and silly at times. This Wild Turkey is a magnificent example of the breed. Photo courtesy of Rick Greenspun

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