Monday, September 25, 2017

*NEW* The Gobbler

The image came to me in a flash: a heroic wild turkey astride a fearsome stallion, soaring across the night sky. I had to stitch it. But why? I didn’t know, but the image proved to be irresistible. As I pondered this, I began to wonder if there was a story to be told. A story of magic and courage beyond the usual bonds of nature; in which wild turkeys found the world over, have a hero to remember and revere.

Pumpkins have The Great Pumpkin, rabbits have the Easter Bunny, small humans have Santa Claus. And now, thanks to my imagination (or perhaps a subliminal message sent across the ages directly to my ear), the most sought after bird of November also has a savior.

In the years following the First Thanksgiving feast shared by Pilgrim and Native Americans, wild turkeys began to dwindle in number, sought after fiercely as a prized feast menu item. The humans only ate the drumsticks, and would often pile platters high with them, which meant many of the large birds had to give their lives for just one meal. The turkeys gobbled amongst themselves, complaining and fearing that they each would be the next to die, but none were brave enough to expose themselves to plain sight and give advance warning as the hunters ranged through the wild lands.

But a young turkey with a passion for the well-being of his kind changed everything on one fateful night. As he lurked in the shadows on the outskirts of the human village, he overheard talk of the largest turkey hunt yet to be ventured. He devised a coded message that could be broadcast to those that spoke the revered language of the Meleagris Gallopavo, warning them to flee the forest. Being flightless, he almost despaired of being able to fulfill his mission, but a lone fairy that had made the trip across the Atlantic with the Pilgrims, took pity on his plight and sprinkled a stallion with magical dust, enabling the steed to take flight and carry the messenger on his back. Together, bird and beast soared over the treetops, spreading the words of warning, enabling all of the turkeys to escape.

All but the brave hero, who was seen as he returned the stallion to the stable. He gave his life for all of his kind, and also changed the way the humans viewed his body as food. For you see, when the hunters realized that they would only find one turkey for the feast, and with many mouths to feed, they prevailed upon the chefs among them to use as much of the turkey as they could. It was a wonder to them that so much meat could come from one bird, and that the giblets could make such a fine gravy.

And so, not only do the ancestors of Early American wild turkeys love and revere The Gobbler, but you and I should as well. Otherwise we would still be stuck eating only drumsticks, and would have never experienced the wonder of turkey gravy on mashed potatoes.

Stitch Count: 62 x 64

The Gobbler by Day stitched with one thread over two on Picture This Plus 32 count Ale

Classic Colorworks: Caterpillar, Honeycomb
The Gentle Art: Woodrose, Caramel Corn, Ruby Slipper
Weeks Dye Works: Havana, Palomino


The Gobbler by Night stitched with one thread over two on 28 count mystery linen

Classic Colorworks: Brown Hen
The Gentle Art: Caramel Corn
Weeks Dye Works: Parchment, Sandcastle,
Flatfish, Sanguine, Sand, Fathom

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Additional materials needed:
Cotton fabric for backing
Pincushion filler of your choice

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

7 comments:

Robin in Virginia said...

Beth, I enjoyed reading the story of the gobbler. I really like both versions.

Donna Rae Barrow said...

What a great epic for such an adorable piece!!! ❤️

Janice Hebert said...

Just love, love, love your tale of how we came to appreciate turkey! I love your pattern too!

Paula said...

I'm lovin' it!

Stitching Noni said...

Great tale! And I love your gobbler :o)

Ruth said...

So fun! I love how I was drawn right into the story before I knew it was happening.
Thank you!

Judy said...

I love your story! Thank you, Beth, for it and the design that goes with it.