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- "The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest." William Blake
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John Fitzgerald Kennedy
- Turkey Talk
1. A tradition is born: TV dinners have Thanksgiving to thank. In 1953, someone at Swanson misjudged the number of frozen turkeys it would sell that Thanksgiving, by 26 tons! Some industrious soul came up with a brilliant plan: Why not slice up the meat and repackage with some trimmings on the side? Thus, the first TV dinner was born!
2. This land is my land: There are four places in the U.S. named Turkey. Louisiana's Turkey Creek is the most populous, with a whopping 440 residents. There's also Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Arizona. Oh, let's not forget the two townships in Pennsylvania: Upper Turkeyfoot and Lower Turkeyfoot. 3. Gobble, gobble: Not so fast. Only male turkeys, called toms, gobble. Females, called hens, cluck and cackle. 4. Have it your way: If Ben Franklin did, the turkey would be our national bird. An eagle, he wrote in a letter to his daughter, had "bad moral character." A turkey, on the other hand, was a "much more respectable bird." 5. Doomed from birth: Those poor turkeys; they don't stand a chance. Just look at the name we gave them. A turkey less than 12-weeks-old is called a fryer-roaster.
6. Turkey roost: Because turkeys are so large and heavy — with the heftiest wild turkey weighing 37 pounds (17 kilograms), according to the National Wild Turkey Federation — it's often assumed that these big birds stick to the ground. In fact, turkeys prefer to sleep perched atop tree branches, where they are safe from predators, which include coyotes, foxes and raccoons. They often sleep in flocks, and upon waking, call out a series of soft yelps before descending to make sure that the rest of their roosting group is okay after a night of not seeing or hearing one another.
7. Frequent flyer ?: Wild turkeys can fly for short bursts at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (89 kilometers per hour). However, they aren't often spotted soaring through the sky because they prefer to feed on the ground, where they peck at grass, seeds, acorns, nuts, berries and small insects such as grasshoppers.
The myth of turkeys' inability to fly stems from the fact that many domestic turkeys, such as the broad-breasted white turkey — which is the most widely used breed commercially — cannot fly; they are too weighed down by their own meat. These birds have been selectively bred to be much heavier and possess a larger, broader breast, the weight of which keeps them grounded.
8. Blushing bird: When a turkey becomes frightened, agitated, excited or ill, the exposed skin on its head and neck can change from its usual pale pink or bluish gray color to red, white, or blue. The fleshy flap of skin that hangs over the gobbler's beak is called a snood and also turns bright red when the bird is excited.