Back in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians first celebrated Thanksgiving it isn't know for sure that turkey was even on the menu. More likely there would have been venison, duck and even lobster, cod and eel. Plus the yield from their fields. So just how is it that the poor turkey got pegged for the job of being sacrificed as Sarah Palin touted a pardon?
One story has it that the 16th century version of Queen Elizabeth was feasting on roast goose during harvest time when word came that the Spanish Armada had been sunk thus thwarting an attack on dear old England. The Queen was so pleased she ordered up a second goose and from that time forward it became a favorite during harvest time.
Fast forward to the new world. The Pilgrims, so it goes, wanted to maintain the tradition but found wild turkeys to be abundantly available compared to the goose.
Not to mention that geese can actually fly and can be down right nasty if provoked. Wild turkeys, though they can be intimidating because of their size, aren't built for fast flight. I was witness to this often when we lived in Rochester NY and had a backyard full of them on a daily basis eating the leftovers from the bird feeders. That which the deer would spill after the birds that it was intended for were tucked away for the long cold nights. I can remember them coming onto our deck looking for food and peering into the kitchen if I hadn't filled the feeders on a particular day.
We didn't have a lot of Canadian geese among the foragers. They probably hung out closer to the lake. If the Pilgrims had had more geese, however, would we have ever had Mother Goose? I figure the expression "your goose is cooked" must have British origins. Of course there is also the goose that laid the golden egg. Rich history, those geese! Not to mention as a food stuff they are rife with fat and goose liver foie gras is cholesterol heaven.
So the poor old turkey falls prey every year. Other than the fact Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be our national bird, what do they have to offer? Certainly not goose down comforters or parkas. All that comes to mind is turkey in the straw and what good is that?
Oh, yes, there is also turkey stuffing, turkey gravey, turkey sandwiches and turkey leftovers! It's really a blessing they are not very smart. Hopefully they are dispatched humanely. The one in the Palin video was probably struggling not so much because he realized his time was about up but that he had to listen to her try to put together a cohesive sentence!