Kathy Bassett: Great Turkey adventures, memories

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Kathy Bassett

Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.

Gobble Gobble? No, it's more of a whinny, whinny! As in horses? As in the wild horse herd on Douglas back in the 1970s?

A couple of guys living in the area went up and caught off some colts and took them home.

We can tell the story now, not that it matters much because the Bureau of Land Management knew we had this colt named "Turkey," but they also knew he was being taken care of and loved beyond words by five little children, who all took turns bottle feeding the little guy.

They also knew that Boyd Walker would have been greatly upset had they had removed Turkey from our midst, because Boyd would take time out and come out of his way just to come over and play with the colt, crawling and wrestling around on the grass until Boyd no longer could see. He'd be laughing and playing so hard, his glasses would fall off.

We were all just lucky the glasses didn't get broken.

Turkey absolutely had no idea he was a horse. He thought he was a person and expected the same rights as a human.

The children also had some pet rabbits, and there wasn't anything cuter than seeing Turkey curled up asleep on the front lawn, with three or four white rabbits piled around him as they all snoozed in the sunlight. The dogs liked him, the cats liked him and everyone liked Turkey.

Well, unless he was being naughty and that was frequently.

One day, all the girls came crying into the house because Turkey ate their Barbie doll clothes. Another day, our son came crying into the house because Turkey was trying to get up on the bicycle with him.

One afternoon, Turkey had all the children penned up in a large culvert sitting in the yard and he'd run from one end to the other to keep them in. If the children tried to play badminton, the colt would grab their "birdie" and run off with it. We had quite a time.

There was only one thing I discovered that Turkey would not eat - celery.

Turkey would eat anything else, even bologna sandwiches. Relaxing in a lawn chair outside, if you set your lemonade down, you'd hear slurping noises as he sucked your drink right out of the glass. He loved watermelon.

When we had to go to town, of course we didn't want anything to happen to Turkey, so sometimes we would put him in the chicken yard because the fence was high enough that Turkey couldn't jump over it. Every time we put the colt in there, the chickens would glare at us, then run and hide in the corner. One time, he ate the insulation right off the walls of the chicken house. Another time, he ate some cement from a bag sitting in the garage. We tried to warn the children that he might not pull through this one as the colt walked around the yard very stiff-legged for a few days.

But, he still was ornery.

Frank was working on a piece of equipment in the shop, laying under the truck on a creeper.

Turkey sneaked in, grabbed his pant leg and sent Frank sliding out across the floor. Frank had a short temper. Frank grabbed a 2-by-4 and swatted Turkey across the rump. Cement broke loose. Turkey shot a grey streak out across the floor and felt so good, ran around the yard looking for the children and more trouble to get into.

We had a "Beware of dog" sign on the gate and one day when we were gone two men came to report an accident up Irish Canyon. Not seeing a dog, one man carefully stepped upon the porch to knock on the door, when Turkey who had been hiding in the lilac bush next to the porch, reached out and took a nibble out of the guy's hiney.

The second guy almost fell out of his car, laughing as the first one cleared the porch in one giant leap to get back into the car, and sat there almost crying. That's the biggest "blankety blank" dog I've ever seen in my life," he said.

They came back the next day to tell us about it.

As I sit here reminiscing about Turkey and the great memories he gave us, I have the biggest smile on my face.

What an adventure.

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