Colleen Thibaudeau’s short story “Wild Turkeys” draws on her great-aunt Belle’s memories of growing up on a farm in Grey County.
Thibaudeau wrote this “getting-of-wisdom” story in 1946 when she lived with her aunt while studying at the University of Toronto. The story was published in the University College magazine The Undergrad [II (1946-47), pages 22-27]. Thibaudeau mentions how her great-aunt shared stories from her girlhood in an interview from 1979:
Don MacKay: One of the stories that you published in the Undergrad, “Wild Turkeys,” seems to be recollecting the Markdale experience.
Colleen Thibaudeau: Well, see, I lived [while at U of T] with my great aunt. Great Aunt Belle was the second sister of my grandmother Stewart.… It was just a pleasure to live with her because she had a slightly easier way of remembering things. My grandma was fun in many ways, but she was just so hurried and harried all the time that she never told you anything. But Aunt Belle was a more gentle easy-going person. And a couple of times, you see, she’d just begin to go into stories like that. So it was from a couple of things she said to me that I reconstructed or made up that story. She wouldn’t have said more than a couple of little hints. [Excerpted from “Colleen Thibaudeau: A Biographical Sketch”, Brick, Issue 5, Winter 1979, pages 6-11.]
From “Wild Turkeys”: “… In the old days it seemed as if all the mornings were like the first morning of the world, and I could have run forever through the tall grass. Run and not wearied….”
( ( 0 ) ) November 6, 2021 at Wordsfest — Watch Kydra Ryan of Alvego Root Theatre perform “Wild Turkeys” here (1 hour and 15 minutes in): https://www.facebook.com/wordsfest/videos/james-reaney-memorial-lecture-2021-tales-for-a-reaney-day/188114376812875/?__so__=permalink&__rv__=related_videos