We all have those traumatic childhood memories…you know the ones…they are those things that we try not to think about at night. Those memories that send a chill up our spine when we do, and we push it out of our minds just as fast as it popped in. Traumatic and shameful, no amount of therapy can truly exercise some demons. Most of my childhood memories are happy, but there is one in particular that still haunts me.
Her name was Tina. I am sure in some other life she may have been wonderful, but in this life, with me, she taunted me endlessly. She was the terror of my 7 year old world. She would chase me, and I knew if she caught me she would rip me to pieces – one look at her hard cold face told me that. I had nightmares about her, I would see her face in my dreams and wake up screaming in a cold sweat. Getting home from school for most kids was an exciting thing to look forward to, but for me it was an experience in terror. She would wait by the fence that bordered our yard, pacing back and forth waiting till I got close enough. A few times she even somehow got on the other side of that fence into our yard and chased me till I ran into the house.
Who was she? Tina was a turkey. Literally. And she was evil. She hated me with a fierceness that I did not think Possible of our fine feathered “friends”. Some of you might laugh at my torment, but you have an angry, bitter bird come after you with their sharp, angry beak and see how long you stand still. And Tina was an unusually large turkey….she was almost as big as I was (at least that is how I remember it in my 7 year old mind). She was the biggest turkey I had ever seen, and she was usually coming right at me to…to peck my eyes out or take big chunks out of me.
I had nightmares about being chased by her. You know the one…where you are running from something and you are running in slow motion, but they are running at normal speed. Except Tina was a turkey, so her legs went unGodly fast. And in this nightmare she resembled more of a terrifying version of the Road Runner than your friendly Turkey that gets spared every Thanksgiving by the president.
One time I got up the courage to turn around and throw a big rock at her…and when she stopped for a moment I even did a little bravery dance and a “Take that you big stupid bird!” And that must made her even more angry, which I did not think possible. She proceeded to chase me with the speed only reserved for evil spirits in bad cheesy horror flicks. But this was no movie, this was real. I barely escaped the fiery fury of her evil beak.
So this Thanksgiving, and every Thanksgiving, I truly enjoy my turkey dinner…maybe…a little too much.