One of my favorite things about the mountains is Bobo. Bobo is a turkey--a big, white, ridiculous looking turkey. To get from my house to civilization, we have to drive over a one-lane bridge and past a house that keeps pigs, turkeys, hens, and something calves. Bobo is their #1 turkey tom, and he often leads his harem across the road and onto the bridge because he is a complete moron with absolutely no danger sense. It's pretty common to find a car wedged onto the one-lane metal bridge, honking at this ridiculous, beach-ball shaped bird who's inexplicably preening on a bridge over a river that contains no food. I've even seen policemen get out of their car to try to chase him out of the street.
If you stop your car near Bobo and roll down your window and say GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE, he utterly transforms. His gobbler expands with blood and turns bright pink, his tail fans out , and he suddenly looks less like a sodden white football and more like a very confused peacock. GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE, he shouts, strutting back and forth in sexy turkey style. And I lose it and laugh all day.
Bobo makes me realize that life is better when it's slowed down. When you can stop your car on the street for five minutes and talk to a turkey. When instead of honking at deer and swerving around them, you stop and watch them. When, as shown in that photo up top, you can lie down in the road for five minutes pretending that you're dead, and not a single car threatens to mash you into a pancake. My suburban life was so stressful, so fast, so high-anxiety that I didn't recognize how much I was missing, zooming through every day. Now I go outside and sit on the hammock, just thinking. I go explore in the backyard. I go for walks down the street, and neighbor dogs or cats or chickens trail behind me like baby ducks. I watch the trees change color in my backyard and look for our resident foxes and deer, all of which I've named. I wake up at night delighted to find opossums and raccoons on the porch, and they stare at me like I'm a god.
This year, I'm thankful for a slower life full of gobbling turkeys. Just don't tell Bobo that I'm going to roast and eat one of his brothers soon.
Delilah S. Dawson is the writer of HIT, Servants of the Storm, the Blud series, Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon, and most recently, Wake of Vultures, written as Lila Bowen.