By Molly O’Neill
Rare Breed Photo: Jim Turner
Beyond the town of Lindsborg, with its church steeples and 2,000 or so houses, the Kansas prairie is a flat forever. There's nothing to absorb wind or sound. The whinny of gears in a pickup; the bullish snort of a combine harvester turning frosty dirt—the noises of a winter afternoon seemed bigger than anything mortal. Standing in a field on Frank Reese Jr.'s farm outside town as the shadows grew longer, I felt truly alone.
I pictured Reese, a poultry breeder who was born near here, shepherding his turkeys across this same, endless horizon as a boy and wondered whether he too had felt alone. From an early age, he had the job of ushering birds on his family's farm from the barn to the open range so that they could peck for insects. He took to the role, and to the birds. When the other children in his first-grade class wrote adoring sonnets to their cats and dogs, Reese crafted a personal essay titled "Me and My Turkeys."
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