Locals in Reading, Massachusetts, pay homage to wild turkey whose refusal to let limp define him has been an inspiration

No one can quite remember when Limpy first arrived in Reading. But it quickly became apparent that life in this small Massachusetts town would never be the same.

Limpy, who is a turkey, quickly charmed residents. His right leg doesnt quite work properly, and his rolling gait made Limpy stand out from the other wild turkeys in town as did his singular disregard for traffic laws and peoples property.

Hes very confident, very nonchalant, just does his thing, said Kristen Bruce Lachance, a Reading resident who started a Facebook page Limpy the Town Turkey in his honor. He just does not care.

Bruce Lachance set up the page in October, and it has since amassed 4,500 followers not bad for a town of only 25,000 people. Members post photos and videos of Limpy, and update each other on his whereabouts. Recent clips show Limpy atop a telegraph pole, apparently bedding down for the night.

Many show the turkey engaged in his favorite pastime: disrupting traffic. Limpy particularly enjoys hobbling down the center of a busy road during rush hour, and also pursuing vehicles.

Limpy the limping turkey is Thanksgiving star

He most likes the buses, town trucks. I dont know if its the colors or what but he will chase them down the street, Bruce Lachance said. Mail trucks are probably his number one. He will chase them down the street, he pecks at the tires, and then he likes to jump on top of the mail trucks.

Looking at Limpys Facebook page, it is apparent that the turkey has infiltrated almost every aspect of town life. Ride to school today, a woman wrote on Limpys Facebook page this Wednesday.

Asking kids what theyre thankful for. Daughter 1 says all of our familys names. Daughter 2 says Limpy.

He has also proved to be an inadvertent contributor to charity. Townspeople have made magnets and T-shirts bearing Limpys image, with the proceeds going to a local food bank, while a local bakery made Limpy-shaped cookies.

Bruce Lachance said more than $1,400 had been raised through Limpy-associated activities. She believes the turkeys refusal to let his disability define him has given people both an inspiration and an escape.

People are rooting for him. People are in his corner, Bruce Lachance said.

Quite honestly, I think people have just become so sick of the politics in the world, and in our town, that its been such a refreshing change of pace for people to kind of get away from all that drama, and just enjoy something and kind of come together.

With winter approaching, no one knows how long Limpy will stay in town. It is clear, though, that most want him to stay.

The really remarkable thing is how he has brought our community together, said Erin OHalloran Gesmundo, who works as a nail stylist in Reading. It is just so amazing when you are out taking pictures and other people come along and you strike up a friendly conversation and help each other with pictures.

OHalloran Gesmundo, who described Limpy as a quirky turkey, recently held a Nail Bar Party, donating 25% of sales to a charity called Understanding Disabilities. She said Limpy has provided her with uplifting moments during a difficult time.

My mom passed away earlier this year, she said. And I was reflecting that when Im really missing her I tend to take a break and go find Limpy, because he always makes me laugh at his antics, and always puts me in a good mood.

He lifts your spirits. He is a beautiful bird.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us


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