Turkey Vs. Vampire

Bald Eagle/USFWSFranklin with his famous fur capEastern Wild Turkey, Gary M. Stolz/USFWS

I have (once again) been inspired by my brother’s weirdness. He and I are creepily similar except for the fact that he has a love for history (which is how we got into the conversation that prompted the google-search that prompted this post), where as I do not. I can appreciate fascinating history (but what’s fascinating to any one person is all subjective so does that even count?) or beautiful architecture, but for the most part, I am not one for remembering dates or even names for that matter. And the things I do remember are awesome – but useless – trivia such as what follows.

Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter detailing how he thought the Turkey would have made a better symbol than the Bald Eagle for our country’s national bird. For the actual article/web page I found this on, CLICK HERE. <—you should. It’s interesting! (Found at: http://www.greatseal.com/symbols/turkey.html)

Here is an excerpt of the letter pulled from the site listed above:

Franklin’s Letter to His Daughter (excerpt)

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

“With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

And the funny part is that I totally agree after having read this! At first I was thinking, “A turkey? Really? Like…Gobble-gobble-jiggly-necked-thanksgiving-dinner turkies?” But this totally changed my perspective.

And then I got to thinking: What else could have been a great symbol of America? And why did it have to be a bird?

My brother came up with bears, but upon further examination we discovered that bears are mean, violent creatures that pretty much attack anything in sight. America is full of bada$$es, but we’re not bullies (by nature) (I don’t think…….) (Wait…ARE we bullies?) so we ruled that one out.

Skunks aren’t a good choice because they smell and run from everything.

Deer just like to get hit by oncoming traffic. My brother likes the idea of O’Possums being representative of America, but it’s for military-related reasons and I’m not fond of being represented by an animal that plays dead in the freeway.

I would have liked lions or tigers, but unfortunately, those are not native to America and aren’t even ON the list, much-less able to be crossed off of it.

A tree full of buzzards awaits their favorite meal... Meat a la Rot

A friend of mine on facebook suggested buzzards with the argument that they eat things on the side of the road even when there is the threat of oncoming vehicles, but that just suggested cannibalism to me and I’d rather not be seen as a flesh-eating bottom-feeder.

Ducks came up. The only thing we could glean from that is that AFLAC would then be the mandatory form of insurance. And then what would our words-to-live-by be? A duck prancing around quacking the word “aflac, aflac” all day, over and over again. While that’s funny for insurance, it’s not so great as the American motto. {I pledge allegiance to the duck of the United States of America & to the republic for which it quacks, one nation in the pond, indivisible, with liberty and insurance for all.}

This is where it gets funny. A friend of mine (the same friend responsible for the buzzard idea, no less) suggested the wolf would be a great symbol for America. And I thought that was a fantastic suggestion! Only when she said it, she was referencing this wolf:

and not this one:


Which, of course, got me to thinking about today’s America which is so full of vampires it’s insane! A vampire should be modern America’s mascot. But what about this theory that our symbol has to be a bird? That could go so many ways with a vampire. Some stories say they turn into bats. Bats have wings! Which makes them, in my opinion, part of the bird family. Like the birds’ 2nd cousins twice removed or something. But what about vampires that don’t turn into anything?

Hello America. I'm your new national symbol.

Like Eric Northman, for instance. He doesn’t turn into a bat. He’s not a bird. But wait – He can fly! In my humble opinion, that puts him in the ‘bird’ category. In a very sexy, wingless, blood-drinking bird category, but a bird nonetheless. But if being an American native is one of the pre-requisites, Eric gets crossed of the list, too. He was a viking.

Then you have stories like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries (let’s see how many posts I can incorporate TVD into – I bet it’s a lot!) where the vampires don’t fly, but have other supernatural powers such as mind-reading, sparkling in the sun (which is more of a hinderance in the love department than it is a super-power), compulsion or anti-exploding-in-the-sunlight rings made by witches whose only other useful function is lighting candles with their brains. What do these vampires say about America? There’s a lot of good & evil at play here, super-powers, magic, romance, history…

blood-drinking, destruction, danger, death… (Let’s overlook that part for now, shall we?)

It could work. So as our representative American symbol, I’m opting for… *drum roll please* (And I know my mother will approve!)…..

Damon Salvatore. *Swoon*

If he was America’s national symbol, people would quickly learn not to mess with us. [Like Ben’s argument about the Turkey, except Damon is handsome, too! (Like the Eagle….best of both birds!)] He’s smart, he’s ruthless when he needs to be, but capable of compassion. He’s strong, fast, funny, sarcastic, doesn’t trust too easily & doesn’t hesitate in a fight. He comes with a handful of crazy vampires for backup. He doesn’t have to gobble or squawk at people because he can effectively deliver a speech; a speech that people will happily listen to because not only is he an eloquent speaker when he gets the chance to deliver more than just his awesome one-liners, but his looks alone would motivate every American female and dude with a man-crush to tune in. It doesn’t hurt that he’s well-dressed either. Congratulations Ian Somerhalder; the day after the Grammy’s and your character, after careful consideration & evaluation, has been awarded the role of Unbeatable American National Sex Symbol.


4 thoughts on “Turkey Vs. Vampire

    • Thank you! I’m so glad that you actually read it. I was afraid I made a huge mistake by sending in links instead of submitting a sample of my writing in the actual email. I love your site! 🙂 And I think it’s clear that I love the Vampire Diaries as well.

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