I wrote about Agnes, our resident wild turkey, a few posts back. The past few days Agnes has brought along her friend, Francesca.
That’s Agnes in back. Francesca’s in front.
Agnes, on her own, is quite cordial and talkative with us. She waddles up to the porch windows, stares in, warbles to get our attention then walks back to her spot (where we put seed out for her and her alone. She does dine with Francesca. We suspect they have a history) and scratches the earth to let us know she’s out of seed.
Demanding little hen, yes?
Also quite protective. A while back a chipmunk went after her seed. When such occurs she performs what we call “The Chippie War Dance” and sometimes “The Fluff and Run”.
I prefer Chippie War Dance myself (and please excuse the blurry image. Wildlife photographer I am not).
We expect Francesca will be more directly communicative shortly. Especially as she realizes Agnes can ask for and get seed from us with little more than a warble, wink, cluck and scratch.
But as I wrote in Nothing Ever Dies of Old Age in The Wild, one will discover things in The Wild that one wishes one hadn’t.
Nothing dies of old age in The Wild
Case in point, about a week back I noticed that Bess wasn’t joining her mother and siblings when I put out peanuts, dog food and cookies. I saw her in back, under cover, in the dark.
I called to her and she didn’t move. I talked to her and walked towards her, a cookie in my open hand so she could see it, and tossed it in front of her. She barely came forward and wasn’t able to hold the cookie in her paws. She couldn’t get it to her mouth and I knew then that something had happened, that she was injured and probably wouldn’t last.
The past four nights Heckie, Sheldon, Veronica and Porgy have joined us in the backyard, but no Bess.
And yes, I mourn.
But nothing ever dies of old age in The Wild.