The turkey is deserving of special
sympathy inasmuch at it may be re
garded fairly as the representative
American bird. Its likeness would be
more appropriate than that ox the eagle
as the national emblem. No species of
its genus is a native of the old world.
When the Spanish conquerors came to
Mexico, (hey saw and wrote home
about the turkey. They described it as
a kind of peacock. Montezuma had one
of the greatest zoological collections
ever got together, comprising nearly
all the animals of the country, to
which were added many brought, from
afar. He was very proud of his me
nagerie, on which great sums of money
were spent. Large numbers of tur
keys were furnished alive as food to
the carnivorous beasts. At that
period turkeys had already been do
mesticated for centuries in the land of
the Aztecs, and they were reared in
much the same way as at present.
From Mexico the domesticated tur
key was brought to the West Indies as
early as 1526. It was carried to Europe
by the Spaniards, and the delicacy of
its flesh being highly appreciated, it
soon spread over the greater part of
Europe. In the reign of Francis I. it
was imported into France. The first
one eaten in that country is said to
have been served at a banquet on the
occasion of the wedding of Charles
IX. This was in 1570. The bird was
bred with much care and not long
afterward it found its way into Africa
and Asia. In 1541 it was introduced
into England. Although these facts
are beyond dispute, there was question
for a long time as to the origin of the
turkey. In Great Britain it was pop
ularly supposed to have come from
Turkey, and hence the name given to
The most remarkable event in the
history of the turkey, however, re
mains to be told. From Europe it
was brought to the United States, and
it is the descendants of these imported
birds that appear on our Thanksgiv
ing tables, trussed and browned, with
giblet gravy for an appetizing accom
paniment. In fact, our domestic tur
key is the Mexican bird —a different
species from the familiar wild turkey
of this country. The notion so widely
held that the barnyard turkey is this
wild turkey domesticated is an error.
It was first proved to be such by the
late Spencer F. Baird, formerly secre
tary of the Smithsonian institution;
hence the difficulty of mating wild tur
keys with tame ones. The wild tur
keys of Mexico today, on the other
hand, are just like our tame turkeys,
being derived from the same original
stock. They have .the same white
meat —decidedly whiter than that of
the wild turkeys of the United States
—and they exhibit other likenesses in
There are two species of wild turkeys
in North America. One is confined to
the eastern and southern United
States and the other to the southern
Rocky mountain region and adjacent
parts of Texas, New Mexico and as
far south as Orizaba. In a word, one
species belongs to eastern and the
other to middle north America. Our
barnyard turkeys are derived from the
latter stock. The differences between
the two species are not so marked as
to excite the attention of the casual
observer. In the Mexican or barnyard
fowl the tips of the tail feathers and
the feathers overlying the base of the
tail are creamy white. The same
feathers in the wild turkey of the
eastern United States are brown al
In view of the facts here stated, the
Mexican wild turkey of today becomes
interesting. It is a very shy bird and
lives in families like the goose. Senti
nels are kept on watch while the flocks
feed. The female lays 12 brownish
red, spotted eggs, which are hatched in
30 days. It feeds on various kinds of
berries and fruits and prefers pecan
nuts to any other diet when they can
be found. Its habits in all important
respects are like those of the wild
turkey of the United States.
When migrating, if they reach a
river which they want to cross, the
turkeys wait on the near bank for a
day or two. for consultation apparent
ly. Meanwhile the males gobble con
tinually and strut about with lowered
wings and expanded tails. When the
proper time arrives, the entire flock
rises to the tops of the highest trees,
and. at a signal from the leader, the
birds launch themselves in the air and
fly to the opposite shore. Should the
stream be wide the young and feeble
Individuals are apt to miss the point
aimed at and fall into the water. They
swim ashore with much dexterity, clos
ing their wings, using the expanded
tail for a support and striking out
rapidly with their ijng and powerful
legal Sometimes, if the bank is very
st#ep, a few may be unable to ascend
and. falling back from unsuccessful at
tempts, they are drowned.
In Yucatan and Guatemala Is found
a fhird species of turkey, which is one
of most beautiful birds known to
the ornithologist. Its feathers blaze
With metallic reflections of gold, green,
blue aad hronze. It is somewhat less
In siAthkp the other two kinds. Its
tail is ornamented with eyes like those
of the peacock. This species is called
the “ocellated” turkey.
SAID SISTER JANE.
Said Tom, “The days are short and
And dismal altogether;
Why do they have Thanksgiving when
It is the year’s worst weather?”
"But I, I like a dreary day,”
Said sturdy little Will;
“Without a storm, and then a freeze,
How could we slide down hill?”
“And then,” said grown up sister Jane,
“When loud the north wind roars,
The best there is of summer time
Is safe with us in-doors.
“The lovely waving grass of June
Makes sweet the barn with hay;
And rosy apples in the bin
Were once the flowers of May.
“And fragrant still, as when the bees
Its blossoms hovered over,
Sealed up in waxen cells is all
The sweetness of the clover.
“And all the store of gold It caught
From summer’s golden sky
The jolly yellow pumpkin brings
To make Thanksgiving pie.
“And so, if we with grateful hearts
Will count all things together,
Each day will be Thanksgiving Day
Whaiever be the weather!”
A Snowy Thanksgiving.
“I wish you’d kill me the heaviest
and fattest one you’ve got.”
The woman who spoke was leaning
out of her open kitchen window. She
had hastily taken her apron from its
usual place, and now held it clutched
closely about her head, but the wind
was blowing a lock of gray hair over
her eyes, and she was constantly
thrusting it back with a quick-moving
“You don’t want to go as high as an
eighteen-pounder, do you?”
The man paused as he was about to
mount a one-horse tipcart. He had one
hand on the horse’s haunch and one
on the shaft of the cart; he put his
question over his shoulder.
“Yes, I do, too; I don't care if it’s a
twenty-pounder. Do you think I want
a small turkey for Thanksgiving? I
sh’d feel mean as dirt with a small
“What you goin’ to do with it? I vow
I don’t see how you’re goin’ to make
’way with it” —still speaking over his
“It ain’t no matter if you don't see,
Adoniram Winsor; I c’n set ’n’ eat it.
’n’ be thankful that 1 ain't a man, ’n’
thankfuller still that I ain’t got one
’round,” with a laugh that rang merril>
on the chill air.
“Certain—certain. You shall have the
lunkinest feller I’ve got—big ’nough
for the president.”
And now the man climbed into the
cart, the horse moved and the wheels
creaked slowly into the ruts of the lane
that led to the main road a mile dis
Ruth Avery slammed down the win
dow, went to her stove, lifted the lid,
bethought herself of something she had
meant to say, ran to the door, which
she flung open with a bang, and
“Adoniram! Adoniram Win-sor!”
Mr. Winsor’s form as he stood erect
in the wabbling cart gave no sign that
he heard, but he immediately began to
turn his horse and then to back him.
“You needn't turn round —I say, you
needn't turn round!” shouted Ruth.
“But I want to. I’ve thought of
something,” was the response.
So the horse retraced his steps and
the cart joggled behind him.
“I only wanted to say you must save
me the wings,” said Ruth. “There ain’t
anything so good for sweeping under
the stove and in corners as the right
wing of a turkey.”
“X il save ’em,” answered Mr. Winsor.
He descended to the ground and
caime forward. He was very tall, and
the army overcoat he wore was not
long enough for him. It was the coat
h* had worn In the civil war. It was
patched with various colored cloths
and the bottom was somewhat fringed.
The owner of it frequently announced
that he was going to wear it as long as
two threads held together. He usually
added that “blue army coats were
gittin’ so skearce now that this one
made him quite distinguished, and if
a man could be distinguished as cheap
as that he was lucky.” Then he winked
one keen blue eye.
Ruth Avery remained standing in
the doorway. A sharp wind came sweep
ing into the valley from the hills and
Ruth again huddled her apron about
her head and shoulders.
WinsoT approached and leaned one
hand on the doorcasing; with the
other he dragged the long lash of his
whip over the grass, still green, by
the southern side of the house.
“I say,” he began, “how c’n you eat
so much all alone?”
"I ain’t alone; I’ve got a cat ’n’ a dog
“Oh. them don't count.”
“Don't they? Well, then, if I can’t
eat it alone I can throw it away alone.
Is that what you came back to ask?”
Winsor drew his whiplash still faster
over the grass.
“We’d better go in than be standin’
here with the wind Mowin' through
our bones,” remarked Ruth.
"O. I can’t stop. Well, mebbe I had
better step inside.”
The two went into the kitchen. Ruth
sat down in a chair and Winsor con
tinued to stand, apparently that he
might more conveniently pull his
whiplash through his fingers. 1-Ie bent
his head that he might look through
the uncurtained part of the window.
“Think it's goin' to snow?” he asked
"I’m sure I don’t know. You can’t
tell nothin’ ’bout the weather in the
fall of the years.”
“Today’s Tuesday,” remarked Win
sor, with still more irrelevance.
“I ain’t goin’ to dispute that,” re
sponded Ruth, and she laughed.
Winsor was now gazing intently at
his companion. He was thinking that
he had never noticed before that she
had a kind, wholesome face. It must
have agreed with her to live alone as
she had done for the five years since
her father died.
“Day after tomorrow’ll be Thanks
givin’, ”he said. His eyes twinkled.
“And the day after’ll be Friday,” she
retorted; she laughed again.
Winsor did not laugh, but his eyes
twinkled still more.
“What I’m wonderin’ ’bout,” he said,
after a silence, “is whether it’ll snow
“If you’re askin’ me. I can’t tell yon.
The Lord ain’t let me know whether
he’s goin’ to send snow or not.”
“It’ll make it bad passin’.”
“That won’t make no difference to
me, the passin’ won’t. There’s weeks
I don’t go out onto the main road when
the winter sets in.”
“ ’Tain’t fittin’.”
“Yes, ’tis fittin’, too.”
Mr. Winsor coughed.
“Got your spinnin’ done?”
No; somehow my sheep grew more
wool ’n common this year.”
“Folks are complainin’ ’bout their
sheep. Dogs killed three of mine.”
The speaker walked to the window
and gazed at the sky for a long time
in silence. Ruth put more wood in the
stove, then sat down and contemplated
the faded back of the army coat.
Winsor turned toward her. He be
/fs Y 0$
Turkeys Tout of reach) —Sing a Psalm of Thanksgiving.
gan. rather nervously, to stroke the
exUcmely small tuft of gray hair that
he allowed to grow just below his un
”1 was talkin' with old Paul Dill
down to the store last week,” he be
gan abruptly, “ and he stuck to it that
it most always snowed Thanksgivin’.
I told him it didn't hardly ever. He
got mad ’n 1 got mad finally. You know
he's got a way with him that would
make a saint lose his temper ’n swear
like the devil. He asked me if I’d bet
'twould snow, 'n I said I would ”
"1 hope you weren't silly enough,”
"I know 1 was —a regular-built fool;
1 am most the time. The upshot of the
matter was that if it don’t snow Dill's
goin’ to do a certain thing; ’n’ if it
does snow I'm going to do the same.
I thought I’d tell you.”
Mr. Winsor now went to the door
and put his hand on the latch. The
twinkle had gone from his eyes and he
was very sober.
“I don't see any call for you to tell
me, Adoniram,” rather wonderingly
“No, 1 don't s'pose you do. I couldn’t
expect that. I guess I’ll go now. I'll
bring up the turkey tomorrow night,
though what you’re going to do with it
1 can’t guess."
He opened the door and stepped out.
He looked up at the sky; there was a
thin haze over it. He went back.
"I teli you what ’tis, Ruth. I hope
it’ll snow,” he said with great empha
"Then you'll lose your bet; it’ll be
good enough for you, too.”
“It'll be too good. Ruth Avery, I
want you to remember that 1 said I
hoped ’twould snow.”
Ruth stared: she continued to stare
as Winsor’s horse walked lip the slope
and finally horse and cart and the man
disappeared down the other side. For
I some time after they had gone from
sight she could hear the leisurely
bumping of the cart over the hollows
and stones of the path.
She took her brooim and began to
sweep rapidly, but the next moment
she paused to say aloud to the cat in
“If men ain’t the queerest things
that God ever made then I’ll give it up!
1 s'pose them two have promised to
wheel each other in a wheelbarrow or
some such foolishness. I always was
thankful I wa’n't a man.”
Perhaps it was this sense of .grati
tude that made her begin to sing as
she swept, forgetting some of the
I thank the mercy and the grace
That on my birth hath smiled,
A happy Christian child.
“I do feel real thankful, ’n’ that’s a
fact, she said aloud. “I’ve be’n pros
s>he had not finished sweeping when
she heard someone cry “Whoa!” in
front of the house.
She went to the window. There was
Paul Dill in the buggy that had once a
top, but which had outlived its cover.
Mr. Dill was a lean, active man, and
he was already hitching his horse to
the ring in the side of the house. Pres
ently he knocked. Ruth set her broom
in the corner with some emphasis of
motion. Then she opened the duor and
her visitor immediately stepped in.
"Good morning, Mr. Dill,” she said
reticently. “Won’t you take a chair?”
"Don’t care u , do, a minute. I was
goin’ by the head of the lane, ‘n’ I
thought I'd come down ’n’ see if you
still kep’ them Plymouth Rock hens ’n’
could spare me a dozen eggs. I’ve got
a fool of a hen that I’ve shet up ’n’
ducked ’n' starved, but it don’t make
no difference; she’s bound to set —late
in the fall, too. I s’pose I’d better have
wrung her neck to begin with.”
i c n spare you the eggs,” was the
reply, still in the same reserved man
All right. How do you make it here
sence your father died?”
Mr. Dill s eyes wandered about the
"Git any money off the farm?”
1 manage to live and pay my taxes.”
"Do? Much over?”
Ruth’s voice was growing more and
I hat so? The Avery family always
did know how to manage. Your
farm ’! be more valuable if ’twas more
snug to the main road.”
No answer. Ruth was studying the
man’s face, and thinking that it bore
a strange resemblance to a gimlet.
My wife never was no kind of a
manager, he said, discontentedly.
\\ hen she died, of course, I mourned
her, but she wa’n’t no money loss to
Again no answer.
Mr. Dill gazed hard at a closet door
and appeared to wish to open it that he
might examine its contents. But he
gave up that idea and soon rose to his
lain t be n down here sence your
father's funeral,” he remarked. “I
guess I’ll go over the farm, if you ain’t
no objections. I reckon some women
do know how to farm it. but they’re
mighty few. Make much sugar last
"Did? How many men do you usual
"I have Joe Monk and Killup Little
in tlie busy seasons: other times I git
Ruth now shut her mouth as if she
would not be likely to open it again.
“Do? Monk ’n’ Little are real good
workers. Yes. I guess I’ll go over the
farm, if you ain’t no objections.”
“The farm is free to folks to walk
Mr. Dill left the house. Ruth saw
him go down first toward the English
hay field. Having watched him thus
far, she took her broom again. She
was sweeping the kitchen for the third
time when Mr. Dill came back. He
merely put his head in at the door,
which he held open just wide enough
to admit of the insertion of that por
tion of his physical frame.
"Farm looks first-rate.” he said. “I
sh’d almost say you’d better keep more
sheep. Think it’s going to snow?”
Ruth shortly expressed her ignorance
as to the intentions of the weather,
and Mr. Dill drove away.
Ruth stood about aimlessly for a few
minutes, then she hurried to the barn
and harnessed the gray horse to the
light wagon. She let her old brown
spaniel sit on the seat with her, and,
thus accompanied, she drove the three
miles to tlie store. Having reached
this place she and her spaniel walked
in, and. as she expected, at this time
in the day, the store was deserted save
for the presence of the proprietor, who
came forward snapping his fingers in
a conversational manner at the dog,
who paid not the slightest attention to
"What it is today, Miss Avery?
Sugar and spice ’n' everything nice for
Thanksgivin’, eh?” facetiously.
"No,” said Ruth, promptly, “I didn't
come for groceries. I came to ask what
old Paul Dill 'n' Adoniram Winsor
were bettin’ about here; I s’pose you
know, don’t you, Mr. Scott?”
Mr. Scott’s ingratiating expression
instantly left his face; his jaw dropped.
He did not answer.
“I s’pose you know, don’t you?" in
“Yes,” at last, “I guess most of us
know. But, law, you needn’t mind
what a mess of men says.”
Mr. Scott began to laugh. He plain
ly made a violent effort to smother this
laugh, choking to the extent of a pur
ple face in the attempt. While he was
thus engaged there entered a small
man very much enveloped about the
neck and chin in a red comforter. Ruth
turned upon him with flashing eyes.
“Mr. Benner,” she said, “you see Mr.
Scott is in kind of a fit. Now, I’ll ask
you the same question I asked him. I
What were old Paul Dill ’n’ Adoniram
Winsor bettin’ about here?”
Mr. Benner did not laugh. He grew
pale and glanced nervously at the
"Do you kno.v?” relentlessly from
“Yes, yes. I know, Miss Avery, but
'twa’n’t nothin'—jest nothin’ at all,
'n' that’s a fact."
Having spoken thus Mr. Benner left
the store with the remark that he had
forgotten to bring his pail for mo
Ruth also left.. She drove directly
home. She was conscious of a burning
at her heart and eyes. She told herself
that she guessed she could*live If she
never knew what that bet was and
have a good Thanksgiving too.
The next afternoon, In the early
dusk of November, Mr. Winsor’s
horse s head appeared at the top of the
hill and a few moments later Adoni
ram entered Ruth’s kitchen. He was
freshly shaved and he wore his Sun
day suit under the army coat. He
bore an immense turkey by the legs.
He slapped the fowl down on the table
with the remark that it weighed eight
een and three-quarters and that no old
maid in the world could ever eat It
without help, a man's help too.
"My dog ’n’ cat are all the help I
want,” was the response.
Mr. Winsor drew out the wings from
his pocket and presented them. Then
he took off his coat and hung it up.
He said he had thrown a blanket on
his horse, and if Ruth didn't mind he’d
stop awhile. The two partook of hot
biscuit and cold corned mutton and
tea. Ruth explained that she didn’t
always keep pies on hand just before
Thanksgiving, as she herself could get
along well enough if she never saw a
At the second cup of tea Adoniram
spoke of the fact that he had often
thought he had missed it not marry
ing. There was no reply whatever to
this, and he changed the conversation
to the subject of rutabagas, upon
which Ruth grew fluent, having made
experiments in the raising of that root.
It was 9 o’clock before Mr. Winsor
took the blanket from his horse. When
he had risen from his chair he had
"Now. Ruth, I want to tell you once
more, ’n’ I want you to understand it
—I hope it’ll snow Thanksgiving.”
When he was unhitching his horse
he called loudly and cheerily:
"It does look ’n’ feel like snow, ’n’
the wind’s dead east. Whether it snows
or not I’m goin’ to drive over.”
Ruth was under a degree of excite
ment when she went to bed. Twice In
the night she rose and looked out of
the window. She could see no stars
and the wind lashed against the east
side of the house. She slept later In
the morning at last, and when she rose
the ground was white and a fine snow
was sifting down the wind, the whole
sky looking as if it might storm for
weeks. There was a chickadee calling
on the butternut tree in the yard.
Ruth was rather tired with herself,
because her excitement continued.
She looked very calm, however, save
that her eyes were brighter than com
mon. When she combed her hair,
which had always tried to curl, she al
lowed the locks on her forehead to lie
more loosely, but Ihis was all the con
cession she made m her excitement.
Mr. Winsor came at 9:30 in the
morning. Instead of covering his horse
he put him in the barn. When the man
entered the kitchen his elderly face
was glowing. The odors of baking
turkey were in the room.
"You’ve lost your bet,” exclaimed
"I know it; I’m glad of it.” Adoniram
walked quickly to the sink, where his
hostess was paring turnips. “1 was a
mean skunk to make such a bet, but
old Dill made me so mad I didn’t care.
Ruth Avery, will you marry me?”
Ruth stopped her work and leaned
her hands on the edge of the sink. Her
cheeks were red.
“I sh'li have to think about that,”
“Yes, I know you will. I've got to tell
you what we bet—that is, what the
loser was to do—he was to come here
and ask you to marry him. It was a
horrid thing to bet. I didn’t realize it.
Dh Ruth, don't look like that! I want
you to marry me. I’m goin' to come
here every week V ask you till you
say yes. l won’t give it up, You're mad
now; I don't wonder."
“You’d better go home,” in a muffled
savage tone from Ruth.
“Yes, yes; I’ll go, but I sh’li come
hack next week ’n' right along. I’ve
kicked myself every minute since I
done that—’n’ I guess I sha’n’t feel
right till I’ve kicked old Dill too. I
sh’li come next week.”
And he did; he kept coming, but
Ruth steadfastly refused to marry him
until the next Thanksgiving, which
•was also snowy, with the sun shining
once in a while between the clouds.—
New York Tribune.
It ain’t around the table ez supports
the biggest bird
Thet the smiles shine out the freest an’
the gentlest words are heard;
An’ the plainest kind o’ service makes
the merriment no less;
it's the people, not the turkey, ez per
vides the thankfulness.
GLAD THINGS AUK NO WORSE.
"Hampton, have you any special
cause for thanksgiving this year?”
“Yes, sir; I’m glad one turkey is
enough for a man and wife and six
THE REAL REASON.
"Jimmie,” asked the Sunday school
teacher, "why is it that so many peo
ple are grateful on Thanksgiving?”
“ ’Cause that’s the time they allns
gets turkey.” -Detroit Free Press.
For pasture lands folded with beauty.
For plenty that burdened the vale.
For the wealth of the teeming abund
Each day will tie Thanksgiving Day
We lift to the Maker our anthems,
Hut none the less cheerily come
To thank him for bloom and fruition
And the happiness crowning the
—Margaret E. Sangster.
Senator Hayward of Nebraska is
worse. His right side is paralyzed and
tie speaks with difficulty and only in
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