A Good Day to Die

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Jake, whose long snood and bright coloring indicate happiness akin to a big grin.  In this photo, he is covered in pollen that blew in the pastures where he was enjoying his day.

Today is Jake’s day of glory.  It’s Thanksgiving day and his spirit is flying free.

It is a good day to die.

Jake came to me with a flock of poults (baby turkeys) that were destined to be killed for Thanksgiving in 2003.  I remember being spellbound by the little birds, who grew so fast that every hour they looked different. I had never known a turkey personally, and never even imagined the complex, fascinating, sensitive, curious beings I discovered them to be.

Jake never liked humans.  I always took it as a great compliment that he felt free enough to eschew human company, including my own. He knew we respected him enough to understand he was his own being, free to make his own choices. We never tried to meld him into who we wanted him to be.

Jake was one of a kind. He could be a bit of a hothead at times, quick to defend when he perceived the slightest threat to his dominion.  He protected his flock valiantly.  Jake cherished his freedom, and enjoyed each day to its fullest.  Even on the day before he died, Jake dozed in the sunshine, sought tasty delicacies in the grass, and hung out with his pig and turkey buddies.

Jake’s best friends were Tom (another Turkey), and Selick, a blind, elderly pig.  Years ago, when Selick first came to us, we tried to have him live with other pigs, but each night, Selick broke out of the pig enclosure and into Jake and Tom’s pen.  So, Jake and Tom got a new roommate.

Tom, with Jake slightly behind him, explores the sanctuary.

Early this Thanksgiving morning, Jake succumbed to a heart attack.  He died quickly, with his best friends, Tom and Selick, by his side.

Jake was one of very few free turkeys on this earth. He was much beloved and tenderly cared for every day of his life. Among the oldest turkeys alive, it is nothing short of a miracle that he died a beautiful, peaceful death in the company of family and friends on Thanksgiving Day.

Today, I give thanks for the blessing of having had Jake in my life. I pray that all turkeys will someday be free to live as the sacred beings that they are. I pray that every human will someday know the joy of nurturing, encouraging, and protecting life in all of its varied and beautiful forms.

Today is your day of glory, my precious Jake. My heart soars with your spirit. You lived free and died free.  I am deeply, deeply grateful to you for walking with me for this brief time.

Hoka hey, my beloved familiar. It is a good day to die.

Jake casts his intelligent gaze towards the camera.



11 thoughts on “A Good Day to Die

    Linda said:
    November 24, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    So grateful that Jake had you and your loving volunteers to provide him with the freedom to live until it was his natural time to die. Many blessings ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    Carol Broll said:
    November 24, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    So beautifully worded. You put into words so many things I feel in my heart; I am grateful that you have the gift of putting these thoughts into words so that they can be shared far and wide. It is definitely quite special that Jake was able to join the spirit world on Thanksgiving.


    indralokaanimalsanctuary responded:
    November 24, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you, Carol


    Sue Sylvester said:
    November 24, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    I am grateful for the grace and love you give to all. Thank you.


      indralokaanimalsanctuary responded:
      November 24, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you, Sue.


        R Sylvia Tagert said:
        November 25, 2016 at 12:15 am

        Thank you Indra. Hugs all around. Jake had a good like.


    Cheryl travers said:
    November 24, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Thank you so do much for sharing that story
    Of course I cried
    But I cry at the irony of all these things
    Crimes against animals yet a huge population excluded
    Just all parts of these Kali Yuga which just are insane
    The aspect of your sweet friend living with you all just brings so much light up this world
    Hare Krishna


    indralokaanimalsanctuary responded:
    November 25, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Thank you, Sylvia.


    The Smile « Stories from Indraloka Animal Sanctuary said:
    January 8, 2017 at 2:58 am

    […] pigs.  So, late one night, he found his way out. After wandering around for a while, he found Tom, Jake and Henny’s barn door.  They were some very mellow old turkeys whose company he did not […]


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