LISBON FALLS — The town turkey is missing. Some suspect fowl play.

The apparent heist of the public display item has townspeople scratching their heads and casting suspicions.

Community volunteer Faye Brown said the Thanksgiving tableau at the corner of Route 196 and School Street originally included a painted metal cutout depicting a 3-foot-tall turkey.

Motorists driving that route will not see the turkey this year, though. Only pilgrims, a cornucopia, hay bales and some pumpkins.

Brown said the turkey, fashioned from sheet metal more than a decade ago by the late Paul Chizmar and painted by local artist Linda Gamrat, was not found by town workers a week ago when they retrieved the display items from the Parks and Recreation garage at Beaver Park, where certain seasonal items are stored during the off-season.

But the plot thickens.

Cherie Garnett, who works for the town’s Parks and Recreation Department, said she does not remember the turkey being in the display last year, either.

Garnett said she believes the bird has been on the lam for a while.

“Actually, it was missing last year,” Garnett said.

She went back to the Beaver Park garage and looked around last fall.

“I couldn’t find it anywhere,” she said, “and we have yet to come across it.”

She said the town worker who picked up the display items two years ago year was new and would not have noticed if one of the items, such as the turkey, were missing from the display.

“Of course, it didn’t cross his mind, and I didn’t put it away, so I didn’t think anything of it,” Garnett said.

“I think that probably the year before, some kids — you know how kids are — on some prank decided they were going to get their own Thanksgiving decorations, maybe, and put it in their backyard or something.”

To her knowledge, the town has not received any calls seeking ransom.

Garnett is mulling whether to set up a web camera, in case the pilgrims also go missing.

Garnett said the town is offering amnesty to the would-be turkey thief for its return.

“If somebody just returns it to the (parks and recreation center) no questions asked, we’ll just take it back,” she said.

Brown said the burgled bird reminds her of the case of the pilfered plants.

Years ago, the town’s Green Thumb Gang, which included a group of kindergartners, planted a plot of tulips in the median at the same intersection as the Thanksgiving display.

The flowers were in full bloom by Mother’s Day, Brown said.

But someone came along and cut every stem, she said.

The next day, she erected a sign in the vandalized flower bed that read, “Did your mother enjoy the bouquet you stole from this garden?”

Another time, volunteers had cut star shapes to hang from the town’s gazebo. Sadly, they were stolen, Brown recalled.

“It’s kind of heartbreaking for the people who work hard on it and enjoy it,” she said. “Then to have people come in and ruin it. There’s no sense to that.”

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Faye Brown hopes to find the turkey missing from the Thanksgiving display in the center of Lisbon Falls. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

The turkey that has been on display for Thanksgiving in the center of Lisbon Falls has gone missing. (Submitted photo)

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