Herding Turkeys

 If you think it’s tough battling the hordes at Price Chopper and Hannaf0rds supermarkets to get your turkeys, you should have seen how tough it was for farmers to get their turkeys to market 100 or more years ago.

In a bizarre commentary that author Peter Gilbert swears is true, he said on Vermont Public Radio this morning that Vermont farmers spent weeks in the autumn herding thousands of turkeys, on foot, from Vermont to Boston for Thanksgiving.

This was all in the 19th century, before we had nice refrigerated semi trucks roaring down Interstates 89 and 93 to do the job.

The herding was challenging, since turkeys are almost as dumb as Lindsay Lohan during a night of hearty partying.

Gilbert says the turkeys would wander off. Or, they’d get halfway across a covered bridge, where the light is dim, so they’d think night was falling, stop and fall asleep. So they all had to be picked up and moved outside the bridge so they’d think it was “morning.”

They’d also roost in trees and on sheds in such great numbers that the trees and the sheds would collapse.

Nowadays, when we pick up our turkeys, they are usually already dead. So they are as dumb as they were when they were alive, but easier to control. It’s only the dumb fellow shoppers that present challenges.

Maybe we can take all the old ladies and clueless men who are blocking the supermarket aisles with their carts and herd them to Boston.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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