The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Mr. Sam Griffin, formerly of Texas County, Mo., out when I met him on the 12th of August, 1906, he was living one mile and a half southeast of Oneta, Indian Territory, related to me the following.

"I am going to tell you a story of a wild turkey which is true. I have heard a number of tales of enormous sized turkeys being killed during the early settlement of Missouri. I have heard hunters say that they have killed wild turkeys that weighed from 20 to 30 pounds gross which I did not believe until one day I and my brother, Jim Griffin, captured a turkey on Hog Creek in Texas County, Mo., when we were boys. We had the dogs with us and when we saw the turkey it started to fly but could not raise above the ground but a few feet at a time. The dogs soon caught it but we got to them before they crippled it. I was much younger than my brother., but I thought in my own mind that I could hold it and I begged him to let me have it and he gave it to me with the remark., "Don’t you let it loose," and I told him I wouldn’t. But the moment I took hold of it the turkey leaped up and struck me with Its feet and knocked me down and started to run off, but the dogs soon caught it again and we got hold of it the second time and we taken it by the tips of the wings and lead and pulled it along between us until we reached home and our parents told us that it was the largest turkey they ever saw or heard of. It was extremely fat and clumsy. They plucked the feathers off of it after we killed it to put in the bed. It was a gobbler and after it was dressed ready for the pot it weighed 27 pounds."

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