Unknown to me, Eugene Christmas was found as a chick along with another by someone in the neighborhood. They did their best to care for and feed them thinking once they grew strong enough they would fly off and return to the wild. However, they were very small and easily fit in the palm of your hand and the other smaller, weaker chick didn't 'make it'.
But you can imagine my surprise when I walked out my door one day and saw this.
Then came the day when I had my old kitchen table and chairs taken out of the house and the new ones brought in. I had the doors open as we walked in and out and the men put the new table together, collected the box it came in, and left. As I was closing my doors I hear a bunch of noise coming from the kitchen from things falling over the counter and some even hitting the floor. I know all the men left, my dogs are on the back porch, my cat is still hiding in the bedroom. I was alone! I run into the kitchen to see what is going on. Is the roof falling in? Nope!
There was a turkey on my stove!!! (Do you know how hard it is to get a turkey out of your house?)
From that day forward it was as if Eugene adopted me. From early morning to dusk we hung around together outside. Eugene was a curious creature and had a way of turning simple tasks such as painting a porch railing into an all day adventure which includes chasing him to get the brush back.
No one was spared from his curiosity. Not the mailman, UPS, or even the work crews installing solar panels. Eugene was there to investigate and supervise.
If I went into the house, I always had the feeling someone was watching me through the doors.
My grandson just loved his new playmate.
We totally enjoyed Eugene and looked forward to the visits everyday. I would spend hour after hour just reading my book on the porch and he would cuddle next to me and act like he was reading it also. That is when I realized he wanted to hear me talk so most times I read the book aloud.
But this was no life for a wild turkey who didn't even know it was a wild turkey. With winter fast approaching, neighbors being terrified of it, and animals that seem to be forever roaming the neighborhood, a safe place was needed for Eugene to live.
The search started and it wasn't that long until a place was found. Paperwork had to be done but in a week or so Eugene will be able to be moved to a new, safe home to live out all his life. He would be well cared for and best of all, we can visit! However, that never happened.
Eugene was 'missing' for three days and when he finally appeared on my porch again, something was terribly wrong. One leg was broken and the bone went through the skin, it was infected. Do you know how hard it is to find a veterinarian around here that will see a wild turkey? Didn't matter, someone was going to see him, help him, and someone was found.
Eugene (we still don't know if it is a male or female for certain) was very sick with infection. Then to top it off, if the leg didn't heal to the point where it can be used (doesn't have to be perfect but able to bear weight), by law they had to put him down. So, with antibiotics in hand, purple splint on his leg, it was off to a wildlife rescue where an experienced person can help Eugene to give him the best chance of getting better and healing.
After a week, I heard that the infection was under control but the waiting game continues to see if Eugene's bone will heal and whether Eugene will live or die.
I miss you, Eugene!
Update on 7/25/16: Eugene is renamed Genie since she is female. She finally made it to the Children's Museum and was kept in her own space until her leg gets stronger. There is a male there that they hope they can unite her with so both have company. I visited her there earlier in the year and I am about ready for another visit. I am so happy she has a great home but I still miss her so.