I really miss my sweet Tom, always appearing next to me, gobbling when I gobbled to him or when he heard a loud noise. Everyone loved Tom. People coming down my road would stop to see him. If nobody was in the yard, he would stand by my door or go to the fence where people were. He was pettable and huggable-kids adored him and he liked the attention. He was easy going, downright laconic-nothing rattled him except the blue towel when I tried to swath him to give him medicine. He didn't walk forward, he tacked. At night, he waited until I was safely in the pen before he would slowly zig zag in. If he was too slow, I would pick him up and put him in and he would squeak and cry. Such a Big Baby. I loved to see him strut, which was most of the time, and I would tell him he looked like a satellite dish. He would flirt with me and his face would change colors when I told him what a beautiful bird he was. I adopted Tom just before Thanksgiving, when 3 of his hens jumped in/on my truck and he happened to be standing nearby. I got him from a petting farm and he was probably about 7 months old then, when this picture was taken, with his stubby little beard. It grew to about 4 inches and I kept it as a souvenir. I am going to make a piece of jewelry from it. I found Tom face down Tuesday morning in what I thought was a safe pen, the victim of a mink or weasel. His beautiful head was mangled to say the least. I can only hope it was quick. I have been literally sick with sadness since and can barely eat. I had just spent the entire day before straightening up all around the pens trying to make them cleaner, safer, etc. I had rolls of mangled chicken wire laying behind the pen, that I put away that may have kept predators away. I had been trying to deal with rats. I also used the tin roofing laying back there on the ground to put a roof over the area where the turkeys slept so they would stay dry, and fixed their roosting table to be easier to clean. I can't help but think my efforts to make things better actually made it worse. My poor Tom, I let him down. But I have been laboring the past two days to re-do the Shanty town to make it safer. I'm setting traps but haven't caught the suspect yet-when I do there will be no mercy. Poor Tom. I miss my gobbling satellite dish so much. I still have many wonderul birds and lots of life and noise in the yard, but there is a huge void. My friend put some of the eggs he fathered in her incubator, so hopefully I will get a Tom Junior who is just as wonderful.