I have a confession to make. The crime has been hidden for over 55-years, and it’s time for my soul to be cleansed and my conscience to be cleared.
‘Twas I who killed The Turken.
Here’s the story …
When I was a kid I had an aunt and uncle who lived across the street. I loved them both, and my sisters and I were over there a lot. When I was around 8 or 9 they acquired a turken. A turken is the monstrosity that is 50% chicken, 50% turkey and 100% abomination of nature.
Note: I can’t wait for my first threatening email from an insane turken lover. I’m hoping it’s similar to the ones I received from the angry clown, angry bowling mom or angry LeBron James.
Why do I feel this strongly about turkens, you ask? Because my uncle had the meanest, nastiest, most vile turken who ever lived. Why he bought this creature remains a mystery to this day, but this turken tarnished my opinions of turkens forever. I don’t recall the turken’s name, perhaps because I’ve blocked it from my memory forever. Anyway, this turken would attack at the mere sight of an innocent (sort of) 9-year-old boy. He had talons of steel and a beak like a razor, and he would come charging at me like a Turken from Hell. I swear to God that beast would be all wings, beak and claws, just flapping and clucking as it came at me. He got me several times over a period of a couple months, as well as several other neighborhood kids who had the misfortune of crossing its wicked path.
And then one day it happened. I was playing baseball in the front yard with my friend Ted, and a foul ball went over the roof of my uncle’s house and into the backyard. I wasn’t sure if the evil fowl was back there, but I had to get that ball.
With much trepidation I crept around the corner of the house to take a peek. Nothing. The yard was empty. And at the back of the yard lay my ball. Slowly, tentatively, may I say courageously, I advanced onward.
Finally, as quietly as possible I picked up my baseball, then turned to make my retreat.
And there he was.
Yes, standing between me and my route to safety was the modern day Pterodactyl from the Bottomless Pit, The Fowl from The Abyss, The Gargoyle Come to Life.
And he was glaring at me with his black, soulless eyes.
What to do? The creature horrified me. If I ran he was sure to track me down like a winged raptor, rip a vein out of my neck and kill me. If I stood my ground he would attack as he had numerous times before.
I decided to fight.
I took a deep breath and made my charge, hoping to take him by surprise. I was screaming like a crazed banshee, fully expecting him to run for his life.
No such luck.
Instead, the nefarious freak of nature charged towards me.
I froze. When I did the turken performed a heinous leap of death, right at me. He clawed, he snapped, he flapped, and he pecked. I was wearing shorts, which in retrospect was a bad idea if you’re expecting a possible confrontation with a murderous turken.
That bird clawed the hell out of me. Miraculously I escaped eyeballs intact, but pride in tatters.
This time, though, the turken had gone too far.
I was pissed.
I went into our garage and fired up my mini-bike. It was one of those real little ones that dad had bought used for me somewhere, and that baby could roll, lemme tell ya.
I hopped on, revenge on my mind and vengeance in my soul.
I sprayed gravel as I tore out of my driveway and across the road, intent on exterminating the beast once and for all. As I barreled around the corner of the house I spotted him strutting away, obviously enjoying his latest conquest.
Not so fast, horrendous cock.
Charging full-throttle, I went right for him. It gave me some satisfaction that the last thing that turken ever saw was yours truly. For just before impact, the turken turned his frightful head and our eyes met.
To be certain he was vanquished I made a return pass, feathers still raining down from the heavens. I stopped and looked down, half expecting the turken to rise up and attempt a last-ditch lunge at my throat.
But alas, he was dead. The Reign of the Evil Turken was over.
Rot in hell, evil turken. Rot in hell.
Later that evening, my uncle and my dad were talking in our driveway. At one point my uncle said, “Yeah, looks like a dog got hold of the turken. Found him dead in the backyard.”
Meanwhile, somewhere nearby a young boy knelt, smiling contentedly as he plucked feathers from his mini-bike spokes.
Dave Shoemaker is a retired teacher, athletic director and basketball coach with most of his professional years spent at Paint Valley. He also served as the national basketball coach for the island country of Montserrat in the British West Indies. He lives in southern Ohio with his best friends and companions, his dogs Sweet Lilly and Hank. He can be reached at https://shoeuntied.wordpress.com/.