Tens of thousands of turkeys, or Meleagris gallopavo, have disappeared across the state in what is already being called the largest shortage since the great turkey tumor outbreak of 1985. That shortage was the result of feeding a majority of the turkey population grain that had been stored in a silo at Vermont Yankee. This year’s shortage, however, seems to be the result of the birds’ own volition.
“Their migration patterns have changed completely,” explained wildlife biologist Sandra Schuster. “Normally they just kind of wander around in circles until someone in an orange vest comes along and shoots them in the face. But this year they’re all trotting along I-89 N, headed directly for the Canadian border.”
Schuster said she has made several calls to prominent turkeys in the area but has yet to receive a response. “Until then, I can only guess why they’re all headed to Canada, but something tells me it isn’t the poutine.”
This vast avian flight certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed on the other side of the border either, according to Richard Forthwright of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center.
“We’re really overwhelmed, eh. We obviously expected a modest surge in immigration after the American elections, but we weren’t prepared for this scale of turkey-bird immigration, eh.”
Forthwright added that Canada’s greatest defense against widespread Vermont immigration has always been a dismal lack of craft breweries. Clearly, this wasn’t enough of a deterrent for wild turkeys, who notoriously prefer bourbon.
Luckily for the Canadian workforce, the turkeys do not seem to be pursuing any employment opportunities in their new homeland. Instead, the birds have taken it upon themselves to begin constructing a massive wall out of twigs and branches along the southern Canadian border.
“We’d expect this sort of behavior from American beavers, who are staunch isolationists,” said Canadian wildlife specialist Rick Trymer. “But we’ve never seen turkeys build a wall like this before. It’s almost as if they have just given up on America altogether and want nothing to do with you guys. Whatever you did, these birds are pissed, eh.”
One possible explanation for the great turkey exodus could be the bird’s advanced sensitivity to racial and cultural tension.
“Turkeys are the original P.C. police,” explained avian expert Rachel Eldersmith. “They tend to get pretty heated when someone says something culturally insensitive. In fact, many historians believe the Pilgrims originally starting killing and serving turkeys during meals so they wouldn’t have to watch what they say around the natives seated at the dinner table.”
Much like the rest of the country, Vermont has also seen an increase in hate crimes over the past year, so this could certainly explain why the birds are finally fed up. Whatever their reasons, the turkeys aren’t the only ones who are pissed off right now.
“It’s just awful,” said Wilma Johnson of Williston. “I still don’t have a turkey. I still need to find gluten-free bread crumbs for my insufferable niece. My son is bringing a new girlfriend over who has a peanut allergy. Shaw’s didn’t have any GMO-free canned cranberry sauce, so I guess that niece just won’t be eating at all this year.
"And no one has heard from Uncle Dale, who will probably just show up drunk four hours after everyone is done eating," Johnson went on. "I’ll be thankful when this fucking holiday is finally over.”