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Turkey Trousers and Kleptomaniac Foxes


Voila! I have, at long last, visual proof that turkey pants, err, trousers, I mean, were actually worn by our London bird. In England, you see, ‘pants’ means ‘underpants.’ I discovered my faux pas after cheerily announcing that I had brought a pair of turkey pants, only to have a dinner guest reply, “I beg your pardon?” in that quintessentially British way, the very tone of which informed me I had – yet again – put my Yankee foot in my Yankee mouth.

My step-daughter, Naomi, created a fantastic Thanksgiving feast, starting with scrumptious bruschetta and ending with a key lime tart. We had all the usual suspects, too: mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, but the cranberry sauce was homemade, and there were some incredible turnips au gratin in the mix, too. She and my son-in-law are foodies extraordinaire, so there were plenty of photos taken of the spread. It was pretty as well as tasty!

There was no need to thaw our trousered Tom since he came from a nearby farm. That’s something I love about London; once you get out of the city center, there’s a surprising amount of countryside and greenspace. There are cows, crops, and sheep a-plenty right by Heathrow, for instance.

Our main London wildlife sighting this time were foxes we’d see darting through the chilly night as we walked home from restaurants and pubs. Naomi told us about one who frequents her backyard. The wily vixen stole a pair of her shoes, returned one nibbled sandal, then made off with a glove. (Did I get that right, Gnome? I was pretty jet-lagged when you told the tale.)

Apparently, fox have a thing for shoes. I typed “shoe stealing fox” into Google and found a bunch of incidents, including an article about a German fox who stole over 120 pairs of shoes for her kits to play with.

I usually visit Naomi and Max during warmer weather, which means that a picnic in Richmond Park is in order, but it was way too cold to ponder that. Still, I love the huge herds of deer roaming there. Plus, the trees and undergrowth remind me of what I’ve seen depicted in children’s book illustrations, which gives me a delightful fairytale feeling. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to hear the Pipes of Pan when I’m there, or to fall into a fairy mound. However, fairy mound or no, our Thanksgiving in London was truly magical and went by way too quickly!

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. I would love to see a picture of that dress. I love textiles and sewing and hand-me-downs.

    I’ll have to dig that dress out and do a blog post about it. I’ll surely find some other well-loved clothing treasures, too. Thanks for the inspiration! :) ~Tui

  2. I could live off of Bruschetta and Key Lime pie!

    This is a wonderful story it made me really hungry and want to go for a walk!

    Y’know, I could enjoy myself on a desert island with bruschetta and key lime pie, too. It’s so dang tasty! :) ~Tui

  3. I forgot to thank you for your comments on my blog about the dresser set. I understand your feelings about being the caretaker of the hand-me-downs.
    When my brother was a toddler I bought him a pair of Levi jeans. They have been worn by him, all my children and most of my grandchildren. They are about 37 years old, now, and still going, although they are patched and worn. I’m hoping one day he will have a child and they can be worn by his child, too.

    37 years old, eh? That is so cool! I have a handmade dress that my mom made from some African cloth that is nigh on 40. I’ve often joked that I should be the patron saint of hand me downs, but I think you may be some stiff competition! ;p ~Tui

  4. Ahh yes…I dressed one of my turkeys one year. He wore a vest and spats made of dough. It was quite snazzy. I’m not sure if I still have the pictures.
    It is funny to see the legs sticking out on your bird. Do they not tuck the legs there as we do here in the USA?
    The turnips au gratin sound delicious. Do you think they would share the recipe? I love turnips and rutabagas!

    A vest and spats of dough! Wowza, Sheila, you have just gone way up on my personal cool-o-meter. :) Y’know, I don’t tuck my turkey legs, either. How very unladylike of me! Maybe my stepdaughter picked that up from me?

    I can send you the turnip recipe, fer shizzle! :) Happy Christmas! ~Tui

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