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There's a whole lot of 'shakin' going on

By Paul Viau | Mar 13, 2013
Photo by: File photo SHE'S CERTAINLY A LOOKER! — This time of year, the Tom turkeys are making quite a spectacle of themselves.

Here I am facing another Monday, staring at a blank piece of paper (actually, a blank screen) and the age-old, question, “What should I write about now?”

When I started this column more than four years ago, my wife was worried about my weekly commitment. I had some concerns, too. But I soon found that life here in the mountains is so interesting, that ideas literally jump out at you. You just need to keep an open mind, and your eyes wide open.

So, today I looked out the window, and there they were — at least 20 turkeys, putting on quite a show. It was a 'Gobblers-Gone-Wild' version of “turkey in the straw,” with four or five Tom turkeys, grouped and standing tall — tails proudly fanned out.

The were ‘holding court’ so to speak.

Now, my wife and I — and especially our cats — really enjoy having an abundance of wild turkeys in our ‘hood.’ It’s always great fun.

But today’s show was spectacular.

A line of young hens (I counted 19) strolled by the proud males like they were a conga line, with an occasional Tom turning around to offer a view of his backside. It was as if one of the hens had shouted out, “Show us your rear.” (Can I say that in the newspaper? Well, time will tell.)

The funniest part of this whole scene was how orderly the procession was. The hens stayed in a neat, straight line.

The Toms behaved themselves, for the most part. Although, they occasionally stretched their tail feathers so much, they were shaking.

That’s when one of my favorite songs came to mind — Shake your tail feather.

Surely, all those turkeys would appreciate the compelling lyrics:

(Sing it, Ray Charles!!!)


Well I heard about the fellow you've been dancing with

All over the neighborhood.

So why didn't you ask me baby

Or didn't you think I could?


Well I know that the boogaloo is out of sight

But the shingaling's the thing tonight.

But if that was you and me a now baby

I would have shown you how to do it right.

Do it right (Do it right)

Do it right.



Twistin', shake it shake it shake it shake it baby.

Hey we gonna loop de loop.

Shake it out baby.

Hey we gonna loop de la


Bend over let me see ya shake your tailfeather.

Bend over let me see ya shake your tailfeather.

Come on let me see ya shake your tailfeather

Come on let me see ya shake your tailfeather.


OK, I think you get the drift.

And if you want to have a nostalgic, feel good moment, go to Youtube and search, “Shake your tail feather.” You’ll find versions by Ray Charles, The Blues Brothers, The Kingsman, The Monkeys, Ike and Tina Turner, and (finally) the group that first recorded it in 1963 — The Five Du-Tones.

Personally, I have bookmarked the Blues Brothers version, so whenever the turkeys come a callin’, I can swing open the French doors, and give them some mood music.

But I don’t think they really need it. Immediately after doing their little parade near our road, our turkeys went down into a hollar to (You guessed it.) shake their tail feathers.

Ahhhh, it’s going to be a good Thanksgiving again this year.