A Turkey Tale
Ahh, historic postcards . . . they never fail to impress. Some of you may recall that my colleague Laura Mooney and I blogged about them at Halloween. Well, they’re resurfacing for another holiday. Our collection contains quite a few Thanksgiving postcards, all dating from about 1900 to 1920, and I was struck by how charming and simultaneously absurd they are. The turkey is a common element on most of the cards and, not surprisingly given the way my mind works, a “turkey tale” told through postcards came to me during my collection browse.
Once upon a time the pumpkin reigned supreme; his iconic image a mainstay for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Until one day when a handsome turkey made his presence felt. The pumpkin was understandably grumpy but, since the turkey has talons, he couldn't put up much of a fight.
The turkey, feeling brave after vanquishing the pumpkin from one of our country's most fabulous holidays, endeavors to make amends with the quintissential American bird.
Feeling buoyed by his friendship with the eagle, the turkey takes to the countryside and finds the people slightly too friendly.
Things go from humiliating to downright terrorizing for our hero as young boys are no longer satisfied just riding him and feel the need to chase him with weaponry.
Soon, however, the turkey gets his revenge!
But alas, a well timed tug on the bottom cannot protect the poor fellow from a well armed and hungry populace.
–Deb Arenz, Senior Museum Curator