We started the day at 8am with ice-filled water buckets. It was a cold morning, made even colder by the wind. A few of the weekday employees were there as well, so many of the chores were already done even though we got there an hour earlier than normal.
It is amazing to me just how much work goes into an event like this, an event that is actually their most low-key event. All the tables needing to be set up, done by PCRM the night before, but still needing to be covered. The extension cords and utensils, the food to be chopped for the turkey’s feast, and a million other details that are almost impossible to keep track of. I just offer my help, and do what is needed.
There was even an extra guest, always invited, and ones we always hope just stay, as they are safe on sanctuary grounds, but not very many other places. Gunshots are a constant most of the year.
In the end, what sticks out in my mind is that 300 people showed up with vegan dishes, on a day that was really perfect for staying inside with hot cocoa and a good book. I’m admittedly not a big fan of any of the events, as necessary and important as they are, but of the events the thanksgiving one is my favorite. Most of the people who come to the Thanksgiving With the Turkeys are people who get it. It is an entirely different feeling than the Open House and Farm Tour, both of which pull a lot more people, but the majority of whom are not on the same page at all.
It is also clear that the birds know that this is their day. As we got the tables ready for them, the chickens were hovering around, hopping right up onto the tables to get a preview. This seemed to delight the people watching the preparations.
The turkeys were gobbling in excitement – they definitely knew that they were the guests of honor.
As people ate their fill and wandered through the rest of the sanctuary, a few of us dispersed to various parts of the sanctuary as well. People need to be told, nicely, not to approach the sheep. They just don’t relate the entire herd walking away from them as a sign to pay attention to, and so without supervision there is a constant slow-chase around the goat and sheep yard.
Lola was, somewhat unexpectedly, the sheep ambassador of the day. She was unconcerned by the people, focused almost entirely on munching on the grass. Lots of pictures were taken of her, and the interesting thing to me was that many people didn’t realize that she had only three legs. Only when they’d see her walk/hop would they notice. “What’s wrong with her leg?” they’d ask.
She’s actually doing great. As well as could possibly have been hoped for, likely even better.
The goats are pretty much always dependable in eating up all the attention (and hay) that can be thrown at them. At least certain goats enjoy it. There are others who are either quite frightened by people or who just aren’t interested.
And then there are the two troublemakers, who still are rambunctious enough that they need to be kept in their stall, as no one knows what damage they’d do otherwise!
We finished the day with breaking down the tables and cleaning up all the food. There was plenty of work left for the Sunday crew, but we ran out of light at 5:30, and that made it officially pumpkin pie and conversation time.
It was an expectedly long day, and a rewarding one.