In memory: Leland

Leland: 3/13/1998 - 1/31/2009
For nine years, you wowed crowds with your strutting display, your tail feathers proudly flashing.
You tried to impress the turkey girls - they clucked and turned away.
You attempted to woo the chickens - they ran away in horror.
So you turned to us humans, following us around, vibrating your feathers to make an impressive whirring sound.

You did not need to do much to find favor with humans - we adored your shining personality, your mood-bearing color changes and, of course, your quintessentially "turkey" display.

You lived life as a turkey should, with his own kind, safe from human predation and free to do what turkeys do. You dedicated your life to patrolling the poultry enclosure, monitoring the turkey ladies (hoping they might one day change their mind), and breaking up fights between the chickens. You have even saved a human or two from being attacked by Killer, the feisty (though tiny) rooster.

And, blessing of blessings, you lived most of your life free of pain and suffering. Your last few weeks were not the best but you made the best of them. And when your caregivers knew it was time to let you go, you did not resist but sighed heavily, in relief almost, and died peacefully.

We hope your life here was as enriching for you as it was for us and the thousands of people who were amazed by your beauty and splendor. Still, at the heart of it, we wish you were here, strutting and patrolling and just being you.

18 comments:

Canaduck said...

Poor Leland.

That was a very nice tribute.

katiemay@rocketmail.com said...

I am so sorry to hear Leland has passed, he had such a calming presence. I will miss him.

Mark Hawthorne said...

Leland -- I feel lucky to have known you. I am grateful I was able to see you recently. I will miss you.

Tamara said...

Rest in peace Leland, handsome boy.

Ryan said...

We'll miss you Leland.

Deanna said...

Rest easy, Leland. You were clearly loved and well cared for.

Gina Farr said...

A personal thank you to his kind and caring guardians. You guys are the most honorable of our species and we love you.

Anonymous said...

One of America's fouding fathers, Ben Franklin, wanted your species named as the national bird. He was overruled by others who chose the eagle, which, although beautiful, looks a bit scary and war-like to me. When I see from photos of you, Leland, how beautiful turkeys are and hear how noble they are, I know that I, too, would prefer to see the turkey enshrined with our other symbols of liberty and freedom. And I would love to see freedom for all, especially for all animals in the American food system. God bless you, Leland.

Vegan Girl (Roni Seabury) said...

Oh Leland, I will miss seeing you, you stole my heart everytime and now it's crying. Rest in peace my little friend.

Dax said...

A beautiful bird, and a fittingly moving tribute. Rest in Peace, Leland.

Carol Yee said...

Oh Leland. What a beautiful boy you were. You were one of the lucky ones my fiend. You were so obviously loved by everyone who knew you. My Sacramento CERT group came to see you last year. Thank you for putting on a show for us:) I will relay the very sad news of your passing. Rest well and know that you were very loved.
Carol Yee, Sacramento City CERT

Toulouse said...

I know Leland is strutting his stuff at Rainbow Bridge...joining many of my beautiful turkeys that I raised and loved. Leland was fortunate to have found such a wonderful home, living for those many happy years.

Max said...

Leland truly was a wonderful Turkey and I know we'll all miss his beautiful displays and gobbles.

mabelkitty said...

My heart goes out to everyone at Animal Place. It is so hard when we lose our animal friends, and even though we can feel happy that Leland got to live out his life in the best way possible, surrounded by compassion and love, I know you all miss him terribly. Hugs to one and all (animals & people!)at the sanctuary.

Rita Cross said...

Leland will be sorely missed, but you all gave him such a good life! What a lucky boy he was!

Squirrel mama said...

what a handsome boy you were Leland and what a beautiful tribute to your life. May you enjoying being young again on the other side of the rainbow chasing all the females once again....RIP....

Anonymous said...

I am honored to have met and spent time with Leland. He will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to read of Leland's passing. We have some pictures of Leland from our visits to Animal Place, he was a very beautiful bird. Thank you for sharing some of his wonderful personality traits with us. Thank you Animal Place for giving Leland a place to live his life fully and in dignity. RIP at the Rainbow Bridge, Leland.