Daily we have anywhere from 20-40 turkeys that come to visit us and to eat what the birds have dropped from the bird feeder.
My first thought was that this was a simple fight over food (turkeys fight all day long over food), but soon I realized that this had nothing to do with food, because usually one turkey will run away and hide, and the other will go back to pecking at the food.
That was not happening. They were pecking each other's throats and twisting each other's necks in an attempt to kill the other. Neither one was giving in, and they were in it to win, at the expense of the other's life.
I couldn't stand it any longer. I know that nature has its order, but I just couldn't stand there and watch these two turkeys kill each other. I had no time to grab my camera, not that I wanted to take a picture of this gruesome event anyway. I ran down the driveway and yelled at them. They looked at me - stunned - got up, and skedaddled down the driveway and across the street. I stood there watching them, hoping they would separate and forget about fighting. But again, in the middle of the street they went at it again, and this time I was close enough to hear the sounds they were making. It was awful.
So I chased them again, and they took off through the bushes and ended up back behind my chicken coop. I walked back to the house, and watched them, and sure enough, they went at it again behind the chicken coop. I chased them again and this time, one of the turkeys could barely stand. I gently walked over to check on it, but as soon as I got closer, it got up and was able to walk.
By this time all the turkeys had grouped together, and were heading into the woods, and I decided I couldn't chase them anymore and try to break up their fight. I hoped the other turkeys joining them would be a distraction for them.
I do not know what happened to those two turkeys, but after breaking up their fight three times, I resigned myself to the fact that one of them probably died in the woods. We have found dead turkeys in our forest for no reason, without apparent injury. If they had been killed by a wild animal, all that would have been left is feathers. So now, I think we know the sad ending of that story.
The whole episode left me quite shook up, because I had never personally encountered two wild animals determined to kill one another. I'm just thankful they didn't die there in front of me.
As I reflected on this incident, I realized just how far our lives are separated from the reality of nature, where life is raw, wild, and untamed. We live in warm houses, have clothing to wear, food to eat, and water to drink. These are things we take for granted... but these animals do not have those things. Every moment of their lives is fraught with danger, and they are constantly seeking the basics of food, water and shelter, and safety from predators. And then the issues that come up between them of dominance, and mating, that also factors in how they live.
I was thankful to retreat into my warm cozy home, pour myself a cup of hot tea, and reflect on just how blessed I am that I don't live with fear like the wild animals who come to visit us here. And I'm so thankful for the advancements that humanity has made so that we are blessed to live quiet peaceful lives with so many rich blessings, and we don't have to be exposed to the rawness of nature, just to survive.