Turkey Day

November 27, 2014

Today I quote the words of Benjamin Franklin, who defended the respectability of the turkey in a letter to his daughter Sarah in 1784:

“For my own part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly; you may have seen him perched on some dead tree, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk; and, when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him, and takes it from him. With all this injustice he is never in good case; but, like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor, and often very lousy. Besides, he is a rank coward; the little kingbird, not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. . .

I am, on this account, not displeased that the figure is not known as a bald eagle, but looks more like a turkey. For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours . . .  He is, besides, (though a little vain and silly, it is true, but not the worse emblem for that,) a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ink sketch of wild turkey

Ink sketch of wild turkey

Watercolor sketch of wild turkey

Watercolor sketch of wild turkey

Ink sketch of domesticated turkey

Ink sketch of domesticated turkey

Watercolor sketch of young turkey (a little vain and silly)

Watercolor sketch of young turkey (a little vain and silly)

 

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3 Responses to “Turkey Day”

  1. Mary Says:

    Wonderful drawings and paintings, Rosemary. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
    Mary

  2. Deborah Says:

    I love your blog, sketches, paintings, and photographs and your words. It’s always inspiring. Thank you!

  3. Wil Says:

    Great Ben Franklin words! I have read them before, but I totally agree with him after watching the eagles steal fish, just as described, many times around here. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


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