As chicks, they're chirpy and innocent, fuzzy puffs, all wobbly-legged and wide-eyed. Baby turkeys are like little balls of cuteness, but they get ugly pretty quickly.
Adult turkeys, their heads and necks are hideously naked. Skin hangs from their faces in fleshy globs and a fat noodle of flab swings off their beaks, wrinkled and flaccid. In happy holiday drawings, the skin on a turkey's head is always red, but that's not right. It's pink, discolored, pale, and red in splotches, red like the color of a slapped baby.
Adults, they peck each other's feathers out, smell of musky feces and waddle grossly.
If you watch enough generations of these birds, watch as they grow, as they turn from innocent to repulsive, you get so you see how they were always ridiculously ugly. If you know turkeys, you get so that when you look at an egg, you're not deceived by the innocent symbolism of potential. You see the coat of crusted mud, caked with molted feathers.
Read the full column @ the Clayton News Daily: The terror of turkeys