First People :: American Indian Legends : T-U

Why The Turkey Gobbles

In the old times, the animals and birds liked to play ball, and they shouted and "hallooed" just as players do today.

Well, the Grouse used to have a fine voice and could shout very loud at the ball-game; but the Turkey could make no noise at all.

One day the Turkey asked the Grouse to teach him how to use his voice, and the Grouse agreed to do so in return for a ruffle of feathers to wear about his neck. The Turkey gave him a fine one, and that is how the Grouse got his collar of feathers.

Well, they began the lessons, and the Turkey learned very fast. By and by the Grouse thought it was time to try the Turkey's voice at a distance, to see how far he could shout.

"Now," said the Grouse, "do you go over by yonder tree and I'll stand on this hollow log. When I give the signal by tapping on the log, do you shout as loud as you can."

The Turkey was so eager and excited that, when the Grouse gave the signal, he tried to shout, but could not raise his voice, and all he could say was, "Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!" And since that day, whenever the Turkey hears a noise, he can only gobble.

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