In a Wisconsin town, a turkey heals a divided people

In Ashwaubenon, Wis., near Green Bay, a turkey named “Smoke” rules the roost.

Smoke isn’t like most turkeys in Wisconsin — insert your own joke here — because he’s a loner. Also, he won’t go away, the Washington Post says.

“Our animal control officers are pretty good, but he has some ninja-like moves,” Ashwaubenon Public Safety Commander Randy Tews told The Post. “They have a hard time getting him.”

For reasons only a turkey in Wisconsin would know, he stands at an intersection every day as if he’s directing traffic.

Photo: Vanessa Miller.

Last month, the best and the brightest tried to out-turkey Smoke. They had nets and big human brains. The people of the community were worried that Smoke’s days of freedom were done. Observe.

It didn’t work.

He’s basically running the town now, from all accounts. Residents have declared Smoke the mayor, apparently by acclamation. Authorities keep trying to capture Smoke. But the people want Smoke to run free.

Photo: Andrea Bader

The cops are a buzzkill.

Recently there has been a lot of publicity given to the turkey now named Smoke who has his own Facebook Group called…

Posted by Ashwaubenon Public Safety on Thursday, October 25, 2018

But the people have spoken. T-shirts that say “I Stand with Mayor Smoke” have sprouted. A Facebook group is rallying support to leave the turkey alone.

“It’s a turkey, not a mountain lion,” Andrew Nowakowski, a 38-year-old produce department manager who is one of Smoke’s die-hard defenders, told The Post. “There was a mother on the Facebook group complaining that the turkey chased her daughter on her bicycle as she was riding home from work. I responded to the comment — and I got some heat for this — if your child gets its a– kicked by a turkey, it deserves it. How are you going get your a– kicked by a turkey? Yes, it has chased people’s bikes, but it doesn’t get physical with them.”

“I think some folks will be sad to see him go,” Tews told the paper. “He’s brought a lot of smiles to people’s faces here. We’re a divided country, and here this turkey is directing traffic for folks on their way to work, and it gives them something to cheer about.”