Tom the Turkey
posted on: 2020-09-05

Tom the turkey was a local legend in Chilmark, Massachusetts, a little town on Martha’s Vineyard. His tragic tale begins in 2006, when young orphan Tom was injured by a hawk. Fortunately, he was saved by a loving couple, Jonathan and Linda Haar. Though they never adopted Tom as a pet, they healed his wounds and fed him regularly. Soon, Tom was hanging around their house all the time, and the couple fell in love with this ugly bird. The rest of the neighbors hated Tom’s guts, probably because he was the scariest turkey in history. He regularly attacked other people, and like Cujo with a comb, he’d trap people in their cars and circle their vehicles, daring his victims to step out. Even worse, sometimes he’d whip up a mad turkey mob and attack unsuspecting people while his gang crowded around. Terrified neighbors parked close to their front doors so they could make a quick dash to safety. Some carried brooms or bats when they went outside. No one was safe from the terrible Tom, except Jonathan and Linda, who didn’t know how foul their fowl had become. Things came to a head when a deliverywoman called the cops, complaining that a wild turkey was menacing the streets. When two officers arrived, Tom wasn’t intimidated. Instead, he attacked the cops, forcing one of the officers to jump on his car. The second officer pulled out his pistol and fired twice, wounding the turkey. Tom dashed off, and the police chased after him, guns blazing. Tom was finally dead. Jonathan ran up, screaming and shouting. He’d loved that bird. In fact, he was so angry that he slugged one of the cops in the face. Jonathan was hauled into jail, and the story became a big-time scandal. People who didn’t live in Tom’s territory wrote to the newspapers, complaining about the cop’s excessive use of force. One paper ran a cartoon of a stupid-looking turkey dressed up as a police officer. For weeks, it’s all anyone talked about. Not much happens in Chilmark, Massachusetts. Six months, $30,000 in legal fees, and several dropped charges later, Jonathan was finally released . . . and so was Tom. The police had kept his bullet-ridden body in a freezer as evidence, so Tom was probably coated with frost. Brokenhearted, Jonathan and Linda buried Tom in their yard, complete with a tombstone that read: “Tom the Turkey. He died as he lived.”

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