Perri pounced on the snake as it struck, snapping its neck with his hooves before anyone else could react. He smashed the serpent until bloody pulp littered the forest floor. No doubt another carnivore would soon take advantage. An odd thrill raced through Perri’s limbs. It felt good to protect his family.
“Oh dear! Oh dear!” said, Henrietta, his adoptive mother. Her panicked squawks rose in pitch as she ran in circles.
Tom’s big red waddle trembled like Jell-O. He stood rooted to the ground, every feather on his body fluffed out. The snake’s head lay at his feet, its deadly fangs millimeters away. Perri stopped Henrietta and nuzzled her until she calmed.
“Papa, snap out of it,” said Perri. He gave Tom a nudge. The big turkey nearly fell over.
Tom closed his beak and backed away from the snake. “I’m alive,” he whispered. Then his voice rose in volume. “Dammed good thing I insisted on taking you in after your mama died. Henrietta would have left you shivering in that clearing for sure.”
An indignant squawk escaped Henrietta’s beak. Perri rolled his eyes. Nothing like a near death experience to alter memory. Tom constantly reminded Perri what a burden he had been as a clumsy young fawn. Henrietta had been the one who had insisted on caring for Perri. Even so, both turkeys had raised him, kept him safe from danger. They made a strange family, but a family none the less.