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Turkey Straddling Time

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We're still at the Washington County Fair over Labor Day Weekend. 

By some incredible stroke of serendipity, Shila and I arrive to find ourselves in the exact place and at the exact time we did two years ago: At the moment of the turkey sale. Which means that in the Small Animal Barn, there is a line of young people straddling big white turkeys. If there were anything to delight a couple of  offbeat photographers with a penchant for the surreal,  turkey straddling would be it.

This turkey isn't going anywhere. At least not fast. There is a great cost that comes with being bred to have a giant set of breast muscles and heavy legs, and it's written in his toes. Sometimes I think we are breeding domestic animals to look and function more like us. Which is not very well, any more.

But there was also great beauty and poignancy in this tableau.

I watch and note the choice of clothing each exhibitor wears.

This girl's turkey displayed the whole time. Maybe he was trying for a little flash, too.

Pfffhut!! he'd say, then walk a few quick steps forward, rattling his primary quills together.

I waited for the back view, which always makes me giggle. It's not all that much better on a peacock, either.

I was so impressed by these two kids, who seemingly did not need to touch their turkeys to gain their cooperation.

This lovely girl shyly posed with her medal--clearly her well-behaved and well-balanced turkey had won the highest prize.

I also got a kick out of this girl workin' her gingham dress and boots. Oh look. There's Shila, camera in hand, smiling at me as I capture the scene. Shila and I are cooking on all burners this afternoon.

Her turkey needed somewhat more firm guidance.

I love this shot so much. To me, it's straight out of the Renaissance--the contraposto pose of the girl; the static pose of the bird; the chiaroscuro...just love it.

But there was a boy there, one of only two in the line of girls, and he and his turkey stole my heart. 

His manner was so gentle, he barely touched the bird. No, the turkey touched him.

The great white bird solicited caresses, which he gently gave--they were in their own world.

And so was I.


I am definitely getting old... when a picture of a boy and turkey can bring tears to my eyes, I know I'm Waaaay too sentimental. Just LOVE that last photo!

It's the new congo line!
The shot of the kids walking their turkeys is wonderful.

Are they food or are some of them pets?

Hope that last one is a pet. That's the small town boy in me.

Yep, that's why I'm a vegetarian (well, that, and the health benefits). Can't kill what I can get attached to....

The first picture of the boy in that sequence looks like it could be a basis of a Norman Rockwell painting. Love it!

I love these county fair stories! 4-H is a superb program. It teaches the children how to raise production animals in a safe, healthy manner. The kids do grow attached, but ultimately, they're learning a life lesson. That being said, I've also shed a few tears too, as I watched the hog or lamb my daughter raised head off to the auction.

Had to look up chiaroscuro- thanks for the vocab upgrade!!

Unfortunately I've seen caged birds on wire and their feet get all malformed. chickens and turkeys.

Ahhh a boy and his turkey...very sweet.
Hey, I just saw Chet Baker the tablecloth licker on Dogshaming, nice!

wow. jut surprising and lovely.xom

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