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"Gobble, gobble, this turkey's not on the menu"

"KINGSTON - There's at least one turkey that won't end up smothered in gravy this Thanksgiving. Titan will continue his duties as watch turkey on one Kingston family's property long after the holidays are gone. The two-year-old bronze turkey is considered one of the many family pets. While the dogs yip and bark, Titan alerts the rest of the roost to a visitor or kids walking home from school. He always meets us at the dog gate, said Maia Curry-Hughes, Titan's owner. Curry-Hughes, 14, has raised Titan since he was a chick. When she first got him from Sacks Feed and Seed, he was about the size of a chicken chick, she said and could easily fit in her hand. He was one of several turkey chicks acquired by the family. Most of the turkeys were taken to be slaughtered or traded for other animals. Titan and a white turkey hen named Angel were left until Angel had an unfortunate meeting with one of the family dogs. But now Titan rules the roost, outweighing the chickens, ducks, cats, bunnies, and catching up to the goats. At a hefty 27 pounds, he is not easily held or cuddled. But he tolerates it as best a turkey can when Curry-Hughes gathers him in her arms and carries him. Titan isn't too considerate with anyone else. In fact, he can be downright ornery when he wants to be. He chases after people. He can be a real idiot sometimes, Curry-Hughes said. Curry-Hughes says the fowl has foul manners, but as far as Titan is concerned he is just maintaining the pecking order that puts him as top bird. That same attitude saves him from potential poachers. Curry-Hughes said she doesn't worry about someone making Thanksgiving dinner of him. He would probably really injure the people who would try and do that, she said. The turkey struts around the yard with tail held high and makes a curious cooing sound. That means he's checking you out, Curry-Hughes said. The loud chortle or gobble sound is made when something new happens, she said. A new shadow or sound can trigger the loud outburst. Curry-Hughes enjoys telling people that she has a pet turkey and said she has really learned a lot from her fickle feathered friend. It's like watching an experiment at work, she said of Titan's personality. Everyday he will show a new side of it, nice one minute and less than nice the next she said. Curry-Hughes, a Kingston Jr. High freshman, hopes to one day put her knowledge and love for animals to work for her as a veterinarian. As for Thanksgiving, her family is having chicken and turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. If (TItan) were on the dinner plate I'd say 'I don't want to eat this, I used to pet this thing,' she said. But if it's a a turkey from the store, I don't really know the bird, so I don't mind. "

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