Day after Thanksgiving. The pleasurable post-feast tryptophan haze has passed and now I have no choice but to ponder the dual looming realities of my mashed-potato-and-gravy enhanced waistline (thanks for hosting a great holiday, Ang!) and the fact that Christmas is bearing down on me like a freight train with nary a purchased gift in sight.
Just when all seems lost, today’s Wall Street Journal kindly perks up my day with a story about “Zelda, the Queen of Battery Park”. Zelda, a wild turkey, has reigned over the park since 2003, where she is treated like royalty by park conservancy employees and a loyal group of volunteers who make sure her favorite snacks of sunflower seeds and cracked corn are served up on a daily basis.
According to the WSJ article, wild turkeys in the region “were nearly wiped out by the end of the 19th century” due to encroachment from farming and development, but are now thriving in the Bronx and Staten Island in addition to Battery Park. They thrive elsewhere, as well. When we traveled to the big island of Hawaii last January, we were greeted by a pair of wild turkeys who enjoy the run of the Mauna Kea resort.
Like the ones we saw in Hawaii, Zelda of Battery Park nests in a tree at night and spends her day hunting for grubs and accepting handouts from admirers. For her, Thanksgiving is just another day. Sometimes it’s good to be wild!