The other day Ryan was standing at the back door, pointing outside and making incessant “Eh? Eh!” noises. I naturally assumed that he wanted to go outside (even when it’s rainy, he’d rather spend three quarters of his time outside). So I started getting us dressed, and it was only when I was lifting him out of the door that I realized his urgency had another cause: there was a peacock about ten feet away from me, behind our rhubarb bushes. I am less observant sometimes than I like to believe.
We were all outside in short order, trailing after the peacock as it wandered through our back yard. He had shed his long tail feathers, but was still lovely and shimmery in the weak winter sunlight, his neck feathers fluffed up against the cold. In all honesty, I must admit that I let Nathan throw him a few scraps of bread so that I could get some good close pictures.
My enjoyment of our guest was marred slightly when he headed into my garden — and, more importantly, when he started pecking. The lettuce he was pecking at was an old one which I need to pull out, since it’s already bitter; but I was keeping a close eye on him, ready to chase him out if he went for my tender young lettuces nearby. I love watching the peacocks, but there are limits. After all, I love watching the deer that have wandered into our street a couple of times too, but when they head for my young fruit trees I run out yelling and clapping at them. I grew up more out in the country, and lack the romantic sensibilities that some of my city-bred neighbors seem to have when it comes to wildlife. I am not above throwing rocks at raccoons.
The peacock nearly got shooed off when he walked through one of my beds, but since it was mostly empty I let the faux pas go. This time. I was too grateful for the fifteen minutes of riveted entertainment he’d provided my kids. A few footprints and (as we discovered later) some patches of peacock poo seemed like a small price to pay.