The First Turkey I Ever Personally Killed

Reuvani Family in Israel 1969
Reuvani Family in Israel 1969 - That's me with the Soviet-style cap and glasses

From 1965 to 1967 I lived with a Persian-Jewish family in Jerusalem, Israel. For some reason, I don't know why, but they adored me and so for my birthday they slaughtered a lamb. Although I didn't watch it being killed, it was the closest I ever came between a food product and its death.

That is to say, I never killed a food animal. Until last Sunday. Last Sunday I personally killed a turkey. It was almost the other way around. Allow me to explain.

I was on the New Jersey Parkway near exit 105 going 79 miles an hour when I spotted this huge bird flying across the highway on a collision course with my 2009 Nissan Versa. At first I thought it was a vulture but when it was about 2 seconds away I could see it was a turkey. If I had to take a guess, it must have weighed between 25 and 30 pounds. I would have guessed less than that but when I finally mowed him down my car went up a few inches after a terrific, frightening boom.

After the thump, it seemed a millions feathers filled my rear-view mirror. I saw the car behind me swerve a bit when it plowed through the wall of feathers and turkey parts, obviously blinded momentarily.

I knew I was going to hit him when he was about 300 feet away (about 3 seconds) and flying across the road. I do not stop for animals when I'm driving 79 miles an hour and there are cars around me.

I didn't have enough time to duck down a bit even though I did say to myself at the time, If that bird lofts himself 2 feet higher, he'll go right through the windshield and kill me.

Sometimes life and death is a matter of a few inches. Allah was watching out for me.


You will probably read that the average turkey has about 3,500 feathers. After the accident I seriously doubt that small number.

I went back to visit the Reuvani family in 1969 with my brother (the guy with no tee-short) and his college friend Walter. I mentioned the Reuvani family in my articles Persian Pastries and Iranian Roses of Mohammed, The Year of the Pig, What Makes Jews So Successful?, and Iran wants Jews to wear badges, again.

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