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Wellsville sunrise, by Mel Hunt

Tompall Glaser Harris, 8, Wellsville


Tompall Glaser Harris, born in 2014, died August 16, 2022 after about a month-long decline.

This pure-bred Bourbon Red gobbler lived a charmed, strange, and lonely life. His surviving human adopted him from a small turkey farm on Wienhauer Hill on the border of Wellsville and Scio NY.

His original owners sought out a refuge home because of TomPall’s timid personality had left him almost defenseless against the harassment of the farm dogs. “Tom” took residence at poultry retirement home in Wellsville and lived for six more years. He leaves behind a dozen chickens, a few ducks, and a rural barnyard that will miss his gobbles and awkwardness. Tompall was predeceased by goat brothers Walter White and Frank Gallagher, many chickens, and a pigeon, Judas Priest.

Tompall, was a unwilling loner. Adopted into a barnyard as the only turkey, he would regularly fall in love with his own reflection it the water trough. He just never realized that his reflection wasn’t a potential companion. Once the light disappeared, the reflections would disappear, and Tompall would go to roost whimpering a sad song. Even in his darkest last days, “Tom” was seen talking to his reflection in desperate tones, almost saying goodbye to a dream.

Before his passing, Tompall was the gentlemen of the barnyard, never showing a temper or having an aggressive thought. In the spring and early summer he would put on great displays of strutting, purring, and quadruple gobbling. Cantalope, sunflower seeds, and cherry tomatoes were his favorite foods and every year he was celebrated at Thanksgiving with a deluxe meal(which he let the chickens mostly steal without a complaint.)

During his last weeks of decline, TomPall had a preferred spot under the canopy of a massive pumpkin plant, which is where he passed away. He will be buried in a private “poultry only” ceremony near his pumpkin patch.

Tompall doesn’t want you to donate to the SPCA or Farm Sanctuary, although you could!! His real lasting request is simple: Stop eating turkey!! Every year in the United States alone, two hundred and fifty million turkeys are slaughtered for food after living only 4-6 months, largely a life of confinement. Consumers waste about forty percent of that food, meaning one hundred million turkeys are raised, slaughtered, and thrown into the trash. Consider for a minute, for Tompall’s memory, how easy it is to be part of ending that injustice.

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