Mark Twain: Hunting the Deceitful Turkey

“Hunting the Deceitful Turkey” is a very short story by Mark Twain.  As usual, this story of Twain’s is humorous, it makes the reader wonder a little, and it’s perhaps a little exaggerated.

The story simply involves the narrator, presumably Twain again, telling of his hunting expeditions with his cousins when he was a kid.  As he was one of the younger kids, he lacked some confidence in handling a gun.  He tells of one outing where he followed a turkey that was pretending to be lame “over a considerable part of the United States”.  Both new that the other was bluffing but neither gave in.  Why didn’t the young narrator just shoot the turkey as he was close enough to repeatedly attempt to make a grab for it’s neck, although he always just missed?  Why didn’t the turkey eventually just fly away as it became fairly obvious that the boy understood the turkey was bluffing?  Was it simply the love of competition?  Was it just the thrill of the chase?

As one might guess, the lack of answers to these questions doesn’t keep the story from being enjoyable.

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