On a morning walk early last year I heard a noise that seemed out of place in Santa Fe. It sounded a lot like a turkey.
It was, in fact, a turkey, a Rio Grande Wild Turkey at that. This tom had taken up residence on Alto Street, on the other side of the Santa Fe River from where I live. For a few weeks he could be seen walking the parapet of a house near La Familia clinic.
Then one day he disappeared. No trace. Gone, except for occasional news of his continuing adventures.
One evening we had dinner with a friend who lives south of town. She told us about her cat, whose newest hobby was leaving live baby bunnies under her daughter's bed, and about her own new hobby: delivering baby bunnies to the animal shelter.
Describing her latest trip to the shelter, she started laughing. When she'd walked in, she'd come upon something bizarre: a man at the front desk "bailing out a big wild turkey."
It was the bird from Alto Street! I hadn't seen it for a while and thought it had wandered off. Our friend filled us in: someone had arrived home one day to find the turkey aggressively blocking the front door. Upset and frightened, they'd called animal control. A neighbor, who liked having such an unusual animal in the hood, had come to bring it home.
Hearing about the person who rescued the turkey restored my faith in humanity :) A turkey is big, and it has sharp weaponry. But if such a spectacular animal were blocking my front door I think I'd just go around to the back.
Anyway, I never did see the tom again. I worried a little that he had been deported for good.
Walking to work this morning, as I rounded the corner from La Familia I saw a familiar form. The wild turkey of Alto Street has returned!