I went outside when the yelling started. Everyone was supposed to be out doing their normal chores. Feeding and watering are pretty low key tasks, so I wasn’t expecting so much noise.
“Get ‘em to the road!”
“Max! Over there! Open the gate!”
“Not too fast! Hold up! Hold up!”
“He’s getting away! Close the gate! Max, close the gate!”
“Steady now, drive ‘em to the chicken pen. C’mon girls.”
“No! No! No! She’s getting away!”
“Wait a minute. Stay right there. I think I got one.”
Cheers all around. The tension melts, and Brian and the kids all congratulate each other.
The night before, Brian sent the kids to catch the 7 turkeys. It is easier to catch birds in the dark, and they’d been roosting on top of the chicken coop. Sophia came in to say the turkeys moved up to the tree. “Well, get them out of the tree,” Brian said. She went back out.
Moments later she was back. “They moved higher.” The conversation went on for a few moments and then Brian decided to go out. His whole body oozed “Do I have to do everything around here myself?”
Brian came back in pretty quickly. “We’ll get up early tomorrow,” he said, “and catch ‘em when they’re just coming down.”
Except they didn’t. I got up early, and I am not much good at catching turkeys.
The turkeys developed a habit of wandering the neighborhood and were long gone by daylight. So when the flock came back into the yard, the family sprung into action, chasing them down the corridor between pens, into the chicken pen, and under the roosting tree. Each time, Brian would catch one and then the others would go back and repeat the same pattern–always heading to the “safe place” where Brian would catch them.
After catching four, the other three–one young tom and the two mothers who were older and wiser–were getting skittish, so we let them alone. Two of them would be caught the next morning. One is still at large. For now.