My friends Rolf & Mari are now the owners of the Wild Turkey Family original illustration from the Leelanau Love ~ Color on Art Book. Well, to be specific, he bought it for her as a birthday gift. Even though he purchased it at my Etsy shop, I was able to hand deliver it this afternoon.
They live here in Leelanau County and the errand was the highlight of my day. We sat on their porch in the sun, wearing light jackets and soaking in the warmth. Mari proceeded to share her story about how a wild turkey chick found it’s Mama.
Two years ago Rolf & a friend were working in the wooded area near their home. When the chain saws were turned off, they heard a peeping sound. They were not able to locate the source and finished up their work in the afternoon. Mari proceeded to move over to the area, hearing the insistent peep-peep-peep. The hawk in the nearby tree was also alerted by this sound.
When Mari found the little wild turkey chick she kept a close eye on it, maintaining some distance, hoping the Mama and other chicks would soon show up. As dark drew close she concluded the inevitable was about to happen, that she would become the wild turkey’s Mama. She bundled it up in a sweatshirt and placed it in a fabric tote bag, where is quieted immediately and began to “purr” with little noises of contentment and fell fast asleep.
Over the next two weeks, she was trailed around the yard by her new charge. While working outdoors, the little chick was always nearby, feeding primarily on crickets. One afternoon, thinking Mari’s skirt was a Mama’s wing, the turkey proceeded to go underneath and work it’s way upward. Mari later found a large scarf that she draped over her shoulders and allowed the chick to burrow up under it when it was in need of warmth and protection. Each night the chick was bedded down in it’s custom sweatshirt-tote bag-bed..
While feeding in the fenced-in garden area, the turkey showed some odd behavior that alerted Mari. Upon investigating, she discovered it’s “birth” Mama on the other side of the fence, looking at it’s babe. The two siblings were nearby in a protected area, waiting for this special reunion to occur. Mari let her little chick out of the garden area, and off they went, the family together again.
The following year she came back to nest with her own brood, often lingering in the yard while the other females would scamper away with their chicks. Mari and Rolf knew it was their little girl chick from the previous year. She felt safe near them, paying no attention at all and gathering bugs just off the front porch.
They are rather certain they have seen her already this spring! So now, the wild turkey drawing has a whole new meaning! I cherished the moment that brought me to their front porch to hear their special story. This is what Dancing Frog Press is all about….connect…give…love.