If you work or study near Kendall Square, you are likely to be amongst the thousands of people streaming out of the T stop at rush hour on Main Street. People cross the street, casually neglecting not only the “Don’t Walk” sign, but the huge police car at the signal. Perhaps you enter the Marriott which everyone uses as a thoroughfare-cum-rain-shelter between Main and Broadway. On Broadway, people walk stiffly and rapidly to their cubicles, offices and MIT classrooms. Here, if you allow your gaze to wander around the premises of the Volpe Center, you might just see Mr. Gobbles out on a slow morning perambulation among the pruned hedgerows.
Mr. Gobbles is the resident wild turkey of Kendall Square. Upon making inquiries, I found that he first arrived in 2003 and the building guards let him live there in peace. I can’t be sure, but someone probably feeds him as well. Happily therefore, he will not find his way into somebody’s oven on Thanksgiving. I think he is either very deaf or very wise. How else can one explain his calm demeanor when surrounded by the cacophonous vehicular nightmare that is Cambridge?
I passed him on my way to work today, and wondered what would happen if he could divine the thoughts of passersby in this decidedly geeky place. What stories he could tell of theorems, machines and cures taking shape in inquisitive minds!
- 11/30/2007: Saw Mr. Gobbles again near the ground floor of the Biogen Idec building.
- 12/03/2007: Repeat sighting in the Volpe Center grounds. The year’s first snow had fallen last night, and Mr. Gobbles was treading lightly among the oak leaves that were still falling on the white ground. He was about 6 feet away when our eyes met. I stopped and we looked at each other for five or six seconds before I sensed that I might alarm him by staring fixedly at him from across the hedgerows. So I left and let him be.