Saturday, March 4, 2017

Turkey Ritual

Over the last five years or so, wild turkeys have been making a comeback here in the Twin Cities metro area. These birds are large, social, far more intelligent than their domestic cousins, and known for their skills in magick. When a coven of wild turkeys comes together to perform a spell, the power that they can raise rivals that of...

Wait a minute. What the hell is going on here?!

The image above, taken from Twitter video, does not appear to be staged, and is exactly what it looks like - eighteen wild turkeys circumambulating deosil around a dead cat in the middle of a road. Are they trying to resurrect the cat? Or perform a necromantic operation to contact its spirit? Various theories have been proposed, but what everybody agrees on is that the whole thing is pretty strange.

Here are 18 turkeys tracing a patient, steady circle around a dead cat. “This is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” the film’s creator says, and while that is not exactly true in a world where (say it with us) a racist orange reality-TV steak grifter is the president, it is still extremely valid and strange!

The Verge sought out explanation for this strange phenomenon from a biologist, who suggested the turkeys were doing a thing called “predator inspection,” in which they take a look at an animal higher up on the food chain, except in this case that predator is a fucking dead cat, so why would they be inspecting him? This is a line of thinking that lead to another, even more unsatisfying conclusion:

"What could be happening is that the turkeys are stuck in some kind of never-ending circle, with each bird following the tail in front of it. “It’s not unusual for them to get into those dances where they chase each other around,” Scott Gardner, a turkey expert with the California Department Of Fish And Wildlife, tells The Verge."

Sure, that might be the case. Or they might be locked in a pagan resurrection rite, or they might have killed the cat themselves and are now taunting its family, or maybe this is a duck blood orgy, or maybe they have sensed and are earnestly attempting to warn us humans of our own impending doom via climate change.

I don't know that the "predator inspection" thing is necessarily that far-fetched. I can see a domestic cat going after a wild turkey, though I can't see a cat actually killing one given the size difference. A cat will sometimes go after a goose, which is about the same size as a wild turkey - and wind up regretting it because geese are nasty. And maybe they are doing some kind of a dance following each other around, but why deosil around a dead cat? That's the big question.

I'll keep an eye out for any more cases of apparent turkey spellcasting to see if this constitutes a trend. If so, the birds may be more powerful than we know - even though, according to reports, the cat did remain dead.

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