I took my kids and two of their friends to the Mall of America last week for Molly's birthday. The parking out there was NUTS. I assumed that since it wasn't a weekend, the crowds wouldn't be that bad. Well, it was President's Day. That meant no school. That meant that nearly every kid from middle school on up was at the mall. ACK. Well, I tried to make the most of it. I'd heard there was a big Wild Birds Unlimited there so I set out to find it. The MOA isn't just any mall, this place is three levels of hugeness. It took me fifteen minutes just to find one of those information kiosks. Five minutes of scanning the multiple maps and hundreds of store names and I couldn't find a thing. I gave up and picked up an information telephone to ask real person for assistance. "We're sorry ma'am, that store went out of business quite a while ago". Are there any other bird stores? Any stores relating to wildlife? Nature? "Um, no".
The kids finished their shopping and we headed to the Rain Forest Cafe for a late lunch. The service was terrific, the food was fair, and the check made my eyes pop and my jaw drop.
Finally, we were back in the car, headed home. Until we got on the freeway and came to a complete stop. Rush hour traffic at four o'clock. GRR. The kids were all jazzed up on chocolate volcano cake and pop and chattered happily and loudly as we crept along.
We finally got to the neighborhood where John's friend lives to drop him off. Looking ahead, there was a big brown lump in the road. The kids were all making guesses as to what the lump was. I grabbed the binoculars that I keep in the car just for times like this. The lump was a wild turkey parked right in the middle of the road! I quickly grabbed my camera but couldn't get the auto focus to hold on it. Molly started shrieking that the turkey was after us. The turkey was running fast toward the car. It stopped right outside the driver's side window and tucked one leg up into its feathers and just stood there.
"I know you had a less than perfect day at the MOA. I've come to tell you that I am your reward for slogging through the crowds and gritting your teeth in traffic. You may revel in my beauty and take my picture. Oh, and you should re-think that whole turkey vulture thing. Turkeys are much prettier."
I think it said that.