Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pablo the Pavo

This is Pablo the pavo. He was given to us by the folks from the village of Los Bances. He is now living on our roof. While that is not unusual, most people don’t have a turkey living on their roof, even in Chiclayo, but as the holiday season approaches, the roof-top turkey population soars. Many Peruvians who don’t raise their own turkeys prefer to buy them alive, because they know what the bird has eaten in its last days; usually corn and lettuce, and that it was fresh.

There are two kinds of turkeys in Peru…black and white. Whites are raised for their meat on large scale turkey farms. They are mostly sold in the frozen food sections of supermarkets. Pablo is a black, which means he was raised in semi-wild conditions, often having to fend for himself in terms of food and shelter, though his owner would provide just enough food to keep him in the area. As a result blacks are thin and tough to eat. Peruvians prefer blacks because they say the flavor is better.

Gobbling and peeping turkeys are sort of the unofficial Christmas carolers in Chiclayo. Walking the streets, especially in the early morning is a treat if you like turkey music. Our turkey doesn’t gobble. He peeps a lot. That’s because he is not quite full grown. Unfortunately for Pablo his time to grow is limited. On the morning of the 24th Pablo will bid the world goodbye. There is no hope for a presidential reprieve.

Pablo doesn’t know his time is limited, and even if he did he probably wouldn’t react. Turkeys seem to me to be pretty stupid. You can pick them up and they don’t do anything. People walking downtown selling turkeys usually have two in each hand, held upside down by the legs. The turkeys bend their necks so that they can see things right side up, which looks really comical, but that’s the only thing they do, seemingly not concerned with their circumstances.

You can take them in a vehicle – car, combi, taxi or mototaxi (shown) and they sit quietly, as if enjoying the ride. When in a vehicle though, you need to have them wrapped. Turkeys are fierce poopers. I mean, pooping is something they are really good at, second only to eating. Most vehicle drivers won’t transport an unwrapped turkey, and if they do you probably don’t want to ride in that vehicle.

At midnight on December 25th Pablo will once again be the center of attention. More precisely he’ll be in the center of a platter, surrounded by empanadas, sweet potatoes and other items that have given their all for the cause. 

Thank you Pablo.

No comments:

Post a Comment