Turkey Mae wasn’t a turkey. You’ve heard of a crazy cat lady, right? Turkey Mae acquired her nickname for her love of turkeys…and chickens, and geese. She lived in the Ozark Mountains, Ava, Missouri to be exact. She was related to my mother, somehow. Perhaps my mother’s great aunt…
Dad told me the story of the time he was on a research trip for his genealogy book and mom insisted on going, much to his disappointment. He knew that wouldn’t turn out well, but that’s another story for another day. She convinced my Dad that they should stop in Missouri to visit her family because she, too, was writing a genealogy book. (That was a farce in itself.) So, to appease the angry-at-the-drop-of-a-dime Medusa, he agreed.
They stopped in to see Turkey Mae, who lived on a hill, hidden from the main road. When they first stepped out of the car, they noticed the mostly dried up bird poop all over the yard. Crunch, crunch. There were chickens and turkeys everywhere! Dad said he even saw a few geese. They knocked on the door.
An old lady, of small stature, opened the door and peered at them. My mom spoke up and introduced herself and then Dad. They were invited in and, to Dad’s surprise, there were chickens all over the house! “Come on in and sit down,” Turkey Mae insisted. Mom and Dad looked at each other. They sat down on a couch that was just as crunchy as the yard!
About the time they sat down, Dad said a chicken jumped up on the back of the couch and about scared the shit out of him. Then another chicken followed. There were chickens everywhere in that house! Mom and Dad were in total disbelief because they had never seen such a thing before! Turkey Mae shooed the chickens off the couch, talking to them as if they were pets. She explained that when the weather is cold, she lets the chickens in the house so they don’t freeze to death. I’m not sure the time of year Mom and Dad were there but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t wintertime!
Dad said they visited a little bit with Turkey Mae, but his memory is a bit faded now. He doesn’t recall if she gave Mom any genealogy-related information, but he remembered the visit being short. Ha, I wonder why?! Can you imagine having chickens in your house?