The Town Turkey was inspired by a true story! Below, the author describes her experience with the real town turkey.
“While driving my daughter to school one day, I noticed something strange on the street corner – a wild turkey. While turkeys used to run free all over northern Illinois, they’re not so abundant anymore. On the next day, the turkey was still there, sitting on top of a 30 foot street lamp. (I didn’t even know they could fly that high!) On the following day, he was napping on top of a split rail fence. Day after day, the turkey patrolled this busy street corner. And people began to notice.
“Chicago news stations sent camera crews. More than 1,500 people joined a Facebook page devoted to the turkey. Shops in town began selling turkey tshirts and buttons. Signs and pictures began to appear in store windows. People began driving out of their way to pass the corner to see him, and children threw out snacks to feed him. Suddenly, we all became experts on wild turkeys.
“I was intrigued by the community’s adoption of this wild turkey and wondered, why did we care so much about this one little turkey? In a time of national and local political turmoil and infighting, was the turkey bringing us together?
“Slowly, a poem began to form in my mind. With the addition of beautiful and funny illustrations by talented artist Jeff Wood, that poem became a children’s book, The Town Turkey.” – Catherine Driscoll
The Town Turkey captures the mania that swept Lake Bluff – a little village located about 30 miles north of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan. The story depicts the surprise and adoration that villagers felt as they slowly adopted the turkey as one of their own. Many local scenes are depicted in the book: the turkey crossing, the annual parade, and the Gazebo in the center of town.
Below are some photos of the beautiful Village of Lake Bluff, and a few of the real town turkey who captured their hearts.