Thanksgiving … it’s a lot of work. There’s usually enough food at any Cajun’s house to feed an army!
Some people start preparing the Thursday feast at least a day or two in advance, which means trips to the grocery to get that ever important facet, that Thanksgiving staple, the turkey!
What, just what, if the turkey came to you? That’s exactly what happened to Roland and LouAnna Guidry over the last few weeks at their home in Cut Off.
“I mean, I like turkey, but already cooked!” says LouAnna of her holiday guest that doesn’t seem to want to leave. “If that turkey comes calling here every morning knocking on the door…,” she adds in a huff.
A few weeks ago, a large turkey showed up on Roland and LouAnna’s back porch and seems to enjoy his temporary home away from home. The turkey has been back nearly every morning since. The Guidrys live in Cut Off, literally next to the original canal that gave the city its name. To their left, is Kirk St. Pierre, who has received the turkey once or twice, and to the right is Ken’s Body Shop, where the turkey also visited on two separate occasions.
“That turkey just comes up to the back door and stares inside,” says LouAnna. “It seems like each morning he’s waiting for me. He spends about three to four hours at the back door each morning just sitting there.”
“He leaves us little cadeaux on the back porch,” says husband Roland. “I had to pick up the welcome mat and give it a thorough cleaning. I think the turkey was feeling a little too welcome!”
The bird had previously spent a few days turkey-gazing and preening itself in the mirrored doors at Ken’s Body Shop.
“Evidently he must see himself in the door. We had a mess to clean out front on Monday,” says Kenny Chouest.
“It’s a young turkey and the timing is perfect … I mean he’s here just before Thanksgiving,” Chouest said with a sly smile.
The day the turkey arrived on the Guidry’s doorstep, it was a visiting physical therapist who first spotted the fowl visitor.
“I am recuperating from knee surgery, and the physical therapist was here on a Saturday when the turkey first appeared,” says LouAnna. “It wouldn’t let the therapist leave out the back door, so I called animal control. They asked if this was an emergency, and I told them ‘no’, but ‘this was no joke either’,” she says emphatically. “It’s nearly Thanksgiving and I call reporting a turkey on my doorstep … they must have thought I was pulling their leg.”
Animal control showed up and tried to catch the premature Thanksgiving main dish. The officers tried to catch the bird, but it flew away after it was cornered. They soon left, but Roland was on the case. At the corner of the house, Roland had his cast net. His plan was to try and trap it in the morning when it came a-calling yet again.
Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow Roland’s planned backyard turkey hunt to come to fruition, and so each morning Roland and LouAnna were awakened by the sound of gobbling at the back door.
“The turkey comes in the morning and clucks and gobbles,” says LouAnna. “He goes around the house clucking all morning.”
“It might be a female,” Roland says, correcting his wife’s self-proclaimed sex of the bird. “I didn’t see a beard.”
“No. It’s not a female,” rebuts LouAnna.
They spend some time discussing beards and sexes of turkeys. It’s fascinating, but not as interesting as imagining Roland chasing the turkey around the house with a cast net.
Apparently the turkey is unaware of the calendar and the significance we place on the fourth Thursday in November. That turkey, male or female, is unaware that in a few days, it could be the centerpiece at someone’s feast!
The feathered fowl is so comfortable at the Guidry home, that it roosts each night on the pergola which sits right outside the kitchen window. A pergola is like a gazebo, but features open cross beams for a roof, creating a shaded area below.
“Yup,” says Roland. “The turkey leaves us little treats under the pergola too. Every day around dusk, the turkey flies up to the top of the pergola and roosts,” he says. “I stand at the kitchen sink and watch it get comfortable and make itself at home up there.”
Fast forward to a few days ago. A nearby neighbor, Becky, has chickens and roosters, and thought the turkey would make an excellent addition to her flock.
“She showed up at dusk with her ladder, a flashlight and a net,” says Roland. “Just as she got up to the top of the pergola, the turkey became aware of what was happening.”
Becky grabbed at the turkey’s tail in an attempt to stop it from fleeing, but to no avail.
“That turkey took off east, north-east with a bald-headed behind,” laughs Roland. “The bird left and left Becky with a fistful of tail feathers. Bald head and bald bum.”
Maybe the turkey checked the calendar and realized its time was up. Perhaps it was Roland with his cast net or even Becky with her “hands-on” approach that did it. Either way, the turkey has flown the coup.
“It hasn’t been seen the last few days,” says Roland.
Be on the lookout for a turkey in your neck of the woods this Thanksgiving holiday. It would make a delight-fowl addition to your dinner table … and as a bonus, Becky has already started the plucking for you!
Posted on Tue, November 25, 2014
by Marc Kimball, Contributing Writer