So, being a mythology fan and all, I wondered where turkey comes into mythology. I don't remember Zeus ever turning himself into a turkey to snag some river nymph (but who knows with him). So I did some searching. Here is what I found:
The scientific (genus) name for turkey is Meleagris. It comes from both the Latin for guinea bird and the Greek hero Meleager, the guy who led the charge along with Atalanta in the Caledonian Boar hunt.
In North America, the Native Americans and early Canadians believed that the turkey help create the world and showed humans how to grow corn and fight off evil spirits. In fact the turkey in these myths is smarter than the owl and able to challenge the eagle in hand-to-hand errr, wing-to-wing combat.
According to Hopi tradition, the male turkey is bald because it was the first animal to try and raise the sun to the sky, burning his head for his efforts. I'm assuming the rooster won that one.
To the Aztecs, the god Tezcatipoca like to take the turkey form. He is an evil god, except when he took his "jeweled turkey" embodiment and instead of evil, gave good luck to others. He could also forgive sins in turkey form.
Me? I just want to eat the thing. Oh, and of course get my wish granted from pulling the wish bone. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, even those of you for whom this is just another day.
There is more about the turkey that can be found at this site.