He felt different. More energetic, more alive. He bred with female after female in his flock without tiring. He stayed awake through the night. He feared no predator.
Then a turkey hunter shot him.
The setting sun overlooked a crisp, clear evening in early November. South of Bartonville, Illinois, a farmer had leased his wood lot to two turkey hunters. Big and burly in their bulky camouflaged outfits, they had just bagged one.
"Good shot, Pete!"
"He's a big 'un!"
Pete and Bob walked up to the tom turkey, bleeding on the cold ground. The rest of the flock had scattered into the woods. He had exceptionally good plumage and weighed perhaps twenty pounds. Pete reached down and picked him up by the neck.
"He weighs at least twenty-five pounds!"
Then the turkey's eyes opened—and gleamed red. He kicked with his spurs and pecked savagely at Pete's arms and eyes. Dozens of his hens attacked the men from behind.
He felt different. More energetic, more alive. He had no memory of being shot, but a certain turkey satisfaction at killing his killers. He also enjoyed pecking at their dead meat. He had always liked frogs, but this meat tasted better. He led his flock down the road, in search of more predators to eat.