CUYAHOGA FALLS - It’s a case of a turkey gone bad. And we're not talking leftovers.
It's the real deal. A living, breathing, territorial turkey. Feathered.
Wild and free. And FAST!
It was Thursday when the Fernandez family from Cuyahoga Falls was in the old family truckster in a parking lot near Steels Corners and State Road.
"I'm like oh! It's a turkey!" said 9 -year-old Lydia Fernandez.
So the Fernandez family hopped out of the car for a photo op of him hanging out, like turkeys do.
"He was just pecking at the grass," says Lydia’s mom, Kristen Fernandez.
But when Kristen pulled out, the turkey took off after them.
“He was super territorial," says Lydia.
It was a tailgating turkey. They caught it all on video.
"And there were points we didn't even see him because he was so close to the bumper," said Kristen.
"I said mom what if we go out and the turkey goes out in the street and he gets hit? And my mom is like oh no! What if that does happen?! " said Lydia.
So, they did the only thing they could think of.
"We made several rotations around the parking lot," said Kristen.
The whole time with the turkey showing off his ridiculously long legs and marathoner stride!
"Yep. We were just driving around and around and around and around and around and around," says Lydia
Kristen adds, "We started to go a little faster and he was still following, so we sped up and dodged him and managed to escape."
But they think often of their feathered friend who until Friday night was nameless.
He is now affectionately referred to as "Territorial Tom".
"I don't like turkey so he would have been safe in my car," said Kristen.
Which got us thinking.
Maybe Territorial Tom wasn't territorial at all and DID want to get in their car.
"Maybe he did! I've been known to be the bird whisperer. We love birds. We’re avid birders," said Kristen.
And now that they think about it….
"He didn't peck at the car or anything. The horn didn’t even phase him," said Kristen.
So maybe, just maybe, this answers the age old question, “Why did the turkey cross the road?” He's following his new friends.
But that makes it harder to explain why Territorial Tom has also taken off after OTHERS in Cuyahoga Falls.
Like the guy just out for a bike ride who found himself tailed by this sprinting turkey.
But Kristen is begging everyone to not hurt or harass their friend who may have been trying to hitch a ride.
"Please everybody let him live out his life naturally," says Kristen.
Which is more than we can say for most of his buddies this time of year.
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