At thanksgiving, you frequently hear that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird instead of the eagle. It’s almost always told as a useless fact. It’s almost always meant to be funny. However it’s no laughing matter and it’s far from useless.
There was a reason that he didn’t want the eagle. While the Eagle may look regal sitting on a tree with big sharp talons or soaring high in the air, he thought that watching one swoop down and steal food from others was not the way for the federal government to be represented. Watching a mocking bird chase an eagle off makes the big ole bird seem kinda cowardly.
Benjamin Franklin was about freedom. Freedom for the little guy. He didn’t want the federal government lording over individuals and taking from them or telling them what to do. He was for small government.
As a turkey hunter, I’ve got a lot of respect for the turkey. They aren’t dumb. Their keen eyes don’t miss much. I’ve always said that if they could smell, I don’t know that you could kill one. If you’ve ever seen a farm raised gobbler, they don’t like people coming around. Franklin had seen this too an had this to say. “a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” A 20lb bird with 1 1/2 spurs is worthy of a little respect.
I’m thankful that God blessed us with intelligent men like Benjamin Franklin and that he gave them the foresight to set this country on the right footing. I’m thankful that God Blessed America, and pray for those blessings to continue. I’m thankful for Turkeys, and I’m already looking forward to turkey season.