Last month, I saw one of these, in person. Tail feathers all fanned out. Wicked ugly red thing hanging over its beak like, like some wicked ugly red thing. It was fricken huge.
It looked so much like this that at first I thought it was a card board cutout - an advertisement. I didn't see it in a petting zoo or up at The Polar Caves. This thing was posing on the side of route 3 south, right next to a bunch of wild turkey women. Traffic whizzing by at 80 MPH. While not as flamboyant as this guy, these gals were much better looking. Lean. Subtle. Disinterested. Tom, over there all gobbling and flexing and shit. Them, looking at each other and rolling their eyes.
The thing is that one day, many moons ago, someone looked at this thing and said, "Hm. I think I'll eat that." Now, in order to make this happen, they had to catch this ugly, ill tempered creature. Since I've never had to chase anything in order to eat it, I find this amazing. The thing is, once you catch it, you have to ... do something with it. I'd starve.
While I've never seen one of these on the side of the road, I have seen them in the grocery store and they don't look happy to be there. They've got ugly down to a science. Almost without exception their claws are bound with elastic bands. That's because they will pinch the shit out of you if you give them the chance. Long ago, someone took a look at this thing and for reasons we will never know, saw lunch. Now, not only did they have to find it and catch it, they had to go under water to do it. This means they had to get their hair wet.
If lunch was up to me, my gene pool would have died off a long time ago. I'm only here because someone in my distant past was hungry enough to run or swim, and resourceful enough to know what to do next. Those who follow me will be the result of more contemporary foraging skills. Drive up.