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Oban's Myths & Legends

Why Turkey Gobbles (continued)
Native American - Papago (Tohono O'odham) Story
retold by Sanjit

Grouse strutting“Would you give me voice lessons?” asked Turkey. “Help me make a bigger sound for the ball game? I need to make more noise!”

Grouse stopped strutting and stared at Turkey. “Sure, why not? But I’d like something in return,” he cooed.

“Just name it,” said Turkey quickly. Grouse ambled over and looked Turkey up and down.

“I admire your black feathers,” he whispered. “Would you give me some so I can make a collar for my neck?” “Oh yes,” said Turkey, and he pulled out about twenty feathers straight away.Black feather

“Great,” said Grouse. “Let’s get started. I’ll show you what I do, and you can try it.”

Grouse spun round and hopped onto a nearby log. Then he lifted his head and pulled his slim body up tall, and started moving his wings faster and faster. A deep drumming filled the woods, and Turkey backed away a little, scared by the sound.

“You try,” said Grouse without stopping his wing movements. “Get on that mound and shake your feathers. Open your beak and let rip.”

Flapping wingsTurkey climbed on the mound, and pulled his fatter body up as tall as he could.

Then he lifted his smaller wings and flapped them slowly. “Lift your head and open your beak,” called Grouse, “and faster with the wings!”

Turkey's red neckTurkey threw his head up and flapped faster until his red neck collar wobbled from side to side.

He was shocked at how strange his body felt and when he opened his beak a loud gobbling sound came out.

Grouse's neck feathersGrouse stopped in mid flap. “Wow! Fierce voice! Now you’re a ball player!”

And that is why Turkey gobbles when he hears a noise, and how Grouse got his neck feathers.




The End

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