Growing up, my backyard was the woods. As a result, I became familiar with all sorts of animals. We had coyotes, woodchucks, foxes, fisher cats – you name it, it probably lived back there. While I didn’t like all of the animals I grew up near, I had a few that I was a huge fan of. Ducks – my dad and I were especially big fans of watching them splashing around in the wetlands. Owls – they were always so cool to spot and were usually all nestled up in a tree somewhere. And of course, turkeys. The turkeys were big for me. I loved watching them trot around in the yard. They were just so fun to look at! 

When I committed to Fairfield University, I watched as many TikToks as I could find about it. One warned me about the turkeys on campus. I scoffed. How could turkeys on campus possibly be a bad thing? I was so excited. In my experience, the turkeys were fun and not at all obnoxious in the way fisher cats or woodpeckers could be. The first time I saw the turkeys, I took pictures and sent them to my family. We loved that they just wandered around campus, seemingly minding their own business.  

My next experience with the turkeys was on a walk to the Media Center. They were on the sidewalk by the library, and completely unbothered, I walked around them. However, the woman behind me started to freak out about the turkeys, saying to whoever she was on the phone with, “Oh my god! They’re following me!” Sure enough, when I turned around, the turkeys were flocked around her, and she was doing her best to get away. That was my first clue that the turkeys might be more nefarious than I had originally thought.  

After that, the turkeys were all over Fizz. Students would share tips on where the turkeys were (typically outside the BCC by the Stag Bus or near the library) and post videos of people running away as a turkey chased them at full speed. I was so surprised, but still chose to stay wary, as I didn’t want to become the turkeys’ next victim (or the next Fizz sensation). So, I put a lot of effort into avoiding the turkeys. Fortunately, while I have been followed by a turkey (something my mom, who I was on the phone with, got a good laugh out of), I have not been chased. Hopefully, I can keep that streak up for my remaining three years.  

So, the turkeys seem to be iconic in theory. It’s funny to catch them on the roof of someone’s car, or admiring themselves in the window of the Stag Bus. I also think that the turkeys are something that brings the students together – we all seem to enjoy complaining about them on Fizz, and most students probably have their own turkey stories to share. That all being said, I’m inclined to agree with my dad, who thinks that the Fairfield turkeys would make phenomenal villains in a campy horror short film. Simply put, I think they cause a little too much chaos around campus to deserve all our love and admiration. 

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