Gabbie Eisma: a 5’2” woman of outstanding imagination and library fines. 23 years old. (Note to costumes manager: Eisma should be wearing a salmon-colored button-up shirt over a blue tank top, khaki shorts, round sunglasses, and hiking boots.)

(Both booted feet come to a stop. Gabbie Eisma squats down, now holding a large branch that had just fallen onto the deck from a tree canopy. After a big mowing day. On a night with little wind. Suspicious.)

Gabbie Eisma, looking up: This shouldn’t be here.

(Gabbie’s attention turns to the treetops. She suddenly looks shocked, as if she can’t believe what she’s seeing. She stands up to get a better look, removing her sunglasses with drama.)

Gabbie Eisma: I mean, this genera of pterosaur has been extinct since the Cretaceous period. I mean this thing—

(Eisma turns her head as if she’s been grabbed and turned by an outside force.)

 Gabbie Eisma: What—?

(Eisma goes stone silent in shock. The camera angle pans, and we can finally see what she’s staring at.)

 [It’s a massive poult of wild turkeys roosting in a tree.]

[Like they’ve done for forever. And Gabbie just has never seen before. So she mistook them for a Jurassic discovery.]

 Gabbie Eisma: It’s… it’s a dinosaur!

[The camera angle pans back to the turkeys, looking confused.]

 Gabbie Eisma (already booking it inside to get her mother): Someone needs to see this!

[Roosting in trees in an important element in the life of a wild turkey, and the act of roosting can be seen all over Michigan forest areas. It is a life-saving technique because roosting in trees helps birds avoid ground predators. Poults begin roosting from about fourteen to twenty-eight days old. It’s actually an incredibly normal sighting.]

Gabbie Eisma: Mom! There is the largest, most vile and interesting creature in our backyard. There’s a ton of them, and they’re loud and fat, and they’re in every tree we have back there!

Gabbie’s Mom (currently on the treadmill, watching the “Call the Midwife” Christmas special in the middle of summer): I think it’s probably squirrels.

(Eisma frowns. She thought this interaction with her groundbreaking discovery would have gone differently.)

Gabbie Eisma: Maybe if squirrels swallowed a toaster each.

[Eisma knows it’s not squirrels dining on toasters.]

Gabbie Eisma (looking at mom): Don’t you even want to come look?

Gabbie’s Mom: I will in a second.

Gabbie Eisma (after walking back to the deck): How come I’ve never seen you all here before?

[Turkeys may use traditional roost sites night after night but they generally use different sites and move from tree to tree.] 

(The camera angle changes, and the indistinct forms come into view for Eisma, and she sees for the first time the distinctive necks and heads of wild turkeys. Luckily, the turkey family does not seem to be upset by her mistaking them for prehistoric creatures. They, too, have poor vision in the darkness.)

Gabbie Eisma: Okay, not dinosaurs, but why are you up so high if you can’t even fly?

[Turkeys usually select the largest trees available and roost as high in them as they can comfortably perch. They can, in fact, fly. Up to fifty-five mph in some cases.]

(The screen pans out where we can see Eisma creep closer. All seven turkeys of various sizes begin a harried decent to the ground, flapping vigorously and loudly, scaring Eisma as the sky rains turkeys for a solid minute.)

(A beat of silence. Eisma comes out of her crouch with her hands over her head slowly.)

[While it is worth noting that Eisma did not make a groundbreaking discovery, there is something to be said about witnessing a new phenomenon as an adult. It doesn’t happen often, especially in an age of information readily available at one’s fingertips. Reality can often be the best source of imaginative canon fodder.] 

Gabbie Eisma (in a deep, mimicking voice, after the turkeys have stopped rainingto herself, since her mom missed the spectacle), as the scene background slowly morphs into a prehistoric forested area and a red jeep appears out of nowhere: Dr. Grant, my dear Dr. Sattler. Welcome… to Jurassic Park. 

[Note to lights and sound: it may be fitting now to play a shortened version of the Jurassic Park theme song. Just saying.]

End scene.

2 Comments

  1. Hannah Riffell

    Excellent, creative way to make an ordinary moment overflow with delight! I love it, Eisma!

    Reply
  2. Annaka Koster

    Your cover photos/art are always amazing but this one truly knocks it out of the park (ba dum tiss). Thanks so much for sharing with us!!

    Reply

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