When turkeys saddled up

On Tuesday, Betty Peters, the peripatetic history buff and Pomona Public Library volunteer, visited our office to show off a curiosity she’d found. She laid an old, lightly stained, brown piece of cloth, about the size and shape of a bib, or a diaper, on our counter and asked if I knew what it was.

I eyed it warily and said I didn’t.

“It was a saddle for turkeys,” Peters said. She explained that when she was growing up, her family had a small ranch in Pomona, which included turkeys. To help the tom turkeys inseminate the ladies, this cloth saddle was placed on a female’s back. The tom could dig his feet into the seams and not slip from her back until his business was concluded.

“If anyone ever asks you ‘Why do turkeys need saddles?,’ now you know!” Peters crowed.

Chew on that while you’re chewing on a turkey today. Happy Thanksgiving.

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