Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Close Encounters of the Turkey Kind

Last Thursday we were transporting a vanload of Honors students to a conference in central Wisconsin when we encountered a wild turkey of gigantic proportions. I was following the van in my car and saw a big bird come swooping up from beside the interstate, head straight for the van windshield, smack into it releasing a boatload of feathers, land on the pavement and walk away. Yes, strange and even impossible as it may sound, the turkey walked away from this shattering experience at 70 mph. (I think the turkey cannot have lived long after though.)

A student in the passenger seat was sleeping with his hat over his face, which may just have saved his eyesight. As it was, tiny crumbs and shards of glass covered this young person's clothes and he glittered in the sun. We pulled off the freeway and into a convenience store where everybody knew exactly what had happened from the shatter pattern of the glass. "Met up with a turkey?"

I would never have believed a turkey could kill a windshield like this. It was deflected in about 4-5 inches. We made it to the conference after calling the university to make sure driving was legal. And by a miracle, thanks to Kingdom Auto Repair in Menomonie Wisconsin ("Serving Jesus and Our Customers"), we got the windshield replaced and the van & all students safely home.

I felt so bad for the turkey - what must that be like; a beautiful warm afternoon, an adventure out of the usual territory, and sudden impact. These highways of ours cut the habitats in pieces and some animals don't get the message about how we own the whole universe and must drive all over it at will. And what do you think was served at the conference lunch? Yep.


Rising Rainbow said...

I think I would have happily eaten turkey after a wreck like that, hoping all the time it was the bird that took out the windshield.

3pennyjane said...

Holy jeepers, y'all. I thought deer were bad, but at least they're not usually airborne.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Sharp-Tailed Grouse and Pheasants are bad for taking out windows around here. Luckily have never had the "pleasure" of windshield meeting Turkey.
Dinner looked good-bet it made you all giggle-LOL.

Flying Lily said...

I have to admit the turkey lunch was really good. The students were texting their friends like mad and sending photos. And 3PJ, it's funny but I have always expected to hit a deer - they frolic on highways around here constantly. Or simply stand in the road and stare at destiny. But I never thought of poor Mr. Turkey. All I could say was, "What are the odds??"

sue said...

OH my word!!! I am glad that everyone is OK... we have "tons" of wild turkey here in Maine (along with deer and moose!!!) come spring you have to be so very careful, but as you have proved, sometimes, it just can't be helped!!!!

Anonymous said...

This has happened to my husband before. It's quite the wake up call when a turkey suddenly flops onto your windshield! In that case the turkey did not survive however. Very apropos that turkey was on the menu that evening. hehe