April 1, 2008
kind of spring chicken!
It started while
I was eating lunch. A low "what...what...what" noise, coming
closer and closer. Then the barking began. Frenzied sheepdog intruder
alert barking and a loud "WHAT" sounds coming from the pasture.
Even before I took off my reading glasses and ran outside I knew what
have a roaming bird menagerie, with guineas, white layers and other
even larger birds. These fowl are notoriously territorial. Each spring
the previous year's males are intimidated and driven off by the older
cocks. So every year about this time we get a few visitors, hoping
that our pastures are truly greener.
our sheep dogs feel that this is just a new kind of crow, so they
attempt to drive these visitors off, nipping at their plumage. They
don't really damage the bird but last year one came over at night
and our border collie crosses did manage to get it pretty well plucked
before I got there and rescued it. This time I was awake.
I didn't wait,
I ran out full tilt, cast or no. Sheepdogs were pinned, the bird shook
itself and ran off through the pasture towards home. I tied the dogs,
while our horses raced around worriedly looking at this huge brightly
With the dogs
tied, I finished my lunch then went looking for the bird. He'd ended
up trapped between a cactus and our fence, looking longingly at our
neighbor's yard. I could see him thinking "ET phone home...."
I went to the
opposite side of the fence. No go, he was wedged too tightly to turn
around. Pretty bird, but stupid.
We are amazingly adaptable, us humans. I am once again at
the computer writing, cast or no. Using the mouse with my
left hand is the biggest challenge!
approached slowly and removed him from behind, pulling him
out gently by the tail. Whether it was exhaustion from being
chased by dogs or just stupidity, he was remarkably docile.
Inspection showed no damage or blood, though our property
was littered with long tail feathers. He seemed calm enough
about being carried... so ....
opportunity! Then I walked him back over to the neighbor's
property and tossed him back in. Peacocks are not my favorite
bird but I was glad when he ran off apparently unhurt.
Allison and the volunteer peacock