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Watch Turkey Keeps An Eye On Wisconsin Farmer
Victor Jaszewski doesn't call his turkey a pet, yet it follows him around the farmyard like a faithful puppy and charges at strangers, giving out long series of loud warnings.
"It's one of the strangest things I've ever seen," says Jaszewski. "Not many people have a turkey like this. I can't explain it."
The large turkey "just showed up" last summer, says Jaszewski, a 71-year-old bachelor who's lived more than 40 years on a farm just north of Independence. "I didn't raise it or anything. I don't know if it got dropped off, or was one of those wild turkeys let go, or what. All of a sudden it was here, and no matter what I did, it stayed."
The turkey eats with the few chickens Jaszewski raises on the 250-acre farm. It gobbles up insects and munches birdseed from atop an overturned barrel. The limp it had when it first arrived has disappeared.
"He's gotten to be my friend," Jaszewski said, glancing at the large one-eyed bird. "I talk to him a lot. He's good company if nothing else. He doesn't eat much and it's just nice to know he's around."
When Jaszewski saws logs into firewood, the turkey stands guard near the woodpile, keeping an eye out for possible intruders. When he starts the tractor and pulls away with a trailer of wood, the bird trots faith-fully behind the wagon. "He follows the tractor wherever it goes," says Jaszewski. "He just doesn't want to miss out on the action."
Jaszewski usually drives his truck into the city of Independence at least once a day, "to show people I'm still alive". The turkey foilows the truck to the end of the driveway, then normally waits for Jaszewski's return.
"He'll be thereby the road when I get back,"
says Jaszewski. "Even when I just walk down the driveway to get the mail, he's right
behind me. He sure is a strange old bird. - "Some day he might be gone, and I sup-
pose that would be OK. But for now, we're just two old birds who get along pretty good."
Reprinted courtesy Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis. Photo by Chuck Rupnow.

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1