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Arne Duncan In My Mother’s Back Yard?

December 25, 2014

My mother has two great interests: Plants and animals. If she visits someone’s house, she is likely to peruse the grounds and ask for a clipping of any number of plants in order to take each clipping home, root it, and grow her own plant.

As to animals, in addition to the standard number of mid-size-to-large dogs and numerous chickens, over the years she has had some exotic “featured” pets. When I was in high school, she had an aquarium with several eight-inch alligators. We’ve also had a raccoon, a muskrat, a huge bullfrog.

Before I was born, she had an Angus bull. When I was a toddler, she had a horse in a stall in our suburban back yard. (She got rid of both bull and horse once she had small children. When I was in high school, she had two horses.)

When I was a child, we had two sheep. We had a goat. At one point, we had over 50 rabbits. (In my grade school art class, I once had to do a drawing of my house, family, and animals. Once I drew all of the rabbits, there was no room for me to draw our house. My teacher modified the assignment for me. Special “Mary Louise”-induced {my mother} circumstance.)

When Hurricane Katrina hit, my mother had a 500+-pound originally-wild boar for a pet. His name was Fred. He was so heavy that when he walked in the yard, he sank. My mother regularly had to fill the holes he made in the yard.

My mother’s current featured pet is a turkey. She has several, but one in particular is the king. When I visited my mother on December 23, 2014, I saw this turkey, posing and parading in all of his splendor.

turkey 1

“Arne Duncan” struts his stuff.

I thought of US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

I remembered Julian Vasquez Heilig’s 2014 Thanksgiving contest and Duncan’s winning the award for biggest turkey.

When I saw the other turkeys following “Duncan,” I though of his Congressional-approval-dodging appointees– like NY Commissioner of Education John King.


turkey 2


“Duncan” and his appointees.

So, there you have it: Arne Duncan is in my mother’s back yard.

Who knew?



  1. john a permalink

    You are too kind to AD, but that generosity of spirit surprises me not a whit. Have an amazing day.

  2. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    made my day.

  3. queenofprada permalink

    Have a Merry Christmas Mercedes! I enjoyed this story so much. Arne Duncan prancing and parading in your Mom’s backyard is over the top funny.

  4. damna minus consulta movent

  5. Burgoyne, Jeffrey permalink

    Thanks for a little Holiday Cheer!
    Merry Christmas,

    Jeffrey Burgoyne
    Sent from my iPad

  6. Funniest thing I’ve seen today! Merry Christmas!

  7. Peggy Schwarz permalink

    What a coincidence. We have an extremely bossy & belligerent turkey co-habitating with 3 chickens in our back yard. The turkey is always pecking & harassing the chickens to keep them in their place. My husband, Farmer Fred, has christened this turkey Piyush!

  8. calanghoff permalink

    My grandfather raised turkeys and he had little respect for them. He claimed that they were so dumb that they would drown in the rain. One turkey would raise its head and open its mouth wide to swallow the rainwater and all the others would follow suit. If he didn’t go out and drive them into the barn, they would keep swallowing ’til they drowned.

    Seems an apt comparison!

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