The recent decision by the United States Supreme Court that will in essence allow all members of the country to arm themselves “to protect themselves” has been met in some quarters with gloomy portents of a nation that will be scarred by increasing gun fire and the dire results thereof. Others have taken a much more roseate view of the court’s action. Nowhere was the 5-4 pro-gun action met with more whooping and cheering than here on Martha’s Vineyard led by an exultant turkey population.
A spokesbird for an organization of local turkeys whose slogan is Armed and Feathery said this is a day that every turkey in America will celebrate. The leading Tom stated that “we birds believe that our day has come and it ain’t Thanksgiving, Buster.” The turkeys who gathered to celebrate the court’s decision came together from all over the Island, many wearing black wing bands to commemorate one of theirs who had been gunned down by a law enforcement officer although, it is claimed, that before meeting his untimely end the Tom had specifically squawked that he wasn’t armed and that it wasn’t a weapon but his cell phone under his wing. Borrowing a slogan from an older group of activists two of the younger birds unfurled a banner that read Never Again and one said: “From this day onward we march to the beat of a different drumstick.”
It is expected that this newfound militancy will spread to other species in the animal community and already there are rumors of groups of the long hunted organizing, as one put it, to level the preying field. Thus far there have been reports of Rabbits With Rifles, Shellfish With Shivs and Kritters With Kalishnakovs.
The upshot of this newfound boldness among those we have always considered our more friendly neighbors may be summed up thusly: If you’re driving, walking or biking along any Island road and a flock of turkeys should cross your path and demand the right of way, be smart and let them have it — or they may let you have it.
Allan Manings, after 40 years of writing and producing for television and films, has retired to Edgartown and California. His column appears regularly in the Gazette.