A Wild Turkey Comments on His Portrait

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by Deborah Ruddell

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk by Deborah RuddellI find it most insulting
that you traced around your hand
and colored all my feathers
either plain old brown or tan.

Where’s the copper? Where’s the gold
that a turkey should expect?
Where on earth is raw sienna,
and where is the respect?

Finally, I’m baffled
that you’ve made me look so dumb.
My head is quite distinguished
and it’s nothing like your thumb.

Copyright © 2009 Deborah Ruddell. From the book A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk. Margaret K. McElderry Books. Reprinted by permission of the author.

About this Poem

I was walking through the woods one day when I spotted a wild turkey standing in the sunshine. His colors were beautiful, and it made me think about how I had never really looked at a turkey before — all those trace-around-your-hand drawings I did in school every year at Thanksgiving were so plain and boring compared to the real thing. So I thought it would be fun for an insulted turkey to tell us what he really thinks of one of those turkey hands. Turns out, he was pretty mad about it.

About The Author

Children's Author Deborah RuddellDeborah Ruddell is a poet and picture book author who always loved words, but didn’t dream of writing books until she had children of her own. Her books include Today at the Bluebird Cafe (Chicago Public Library Best of the Best); A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk (ALA Notable Book); and Who Said Coo?, illustrated by her twin sister Robin Luebs, (Texas Library Association 2×2 Reading List). Up next in 2015 is The Picky Ogre, a poetic tribute to Ruddell’s favorite topic: food.

For teacher’s guides and fun activities, please visit www.deborahruddell.com.

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One response to “A Wild Turkey Comments on His Portrait”

  1. One of my favorite poems from this collection. Hysterical!

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