I didn’t know I didn’t like peacocks until I met some

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I hate peacocks.

Who knew.


The first time I went out on that blind date to meet my future horse, I pulled up in my shiny black Impala and parked. I was immediately enchanted to see several peacocks trotting here and there, perching on the fences, scratching around, and dropping beautiful, long blue-green feathers here and there.

I snatched one up and gushed to my horsey matchmaker pal Sarah, “Oooh, can we keep them?”

There was an obvious tone of disgust in her voice when she answered, “Sure.”

“You don’t like the peacocks?” I wondered aloud, wrestling with the cognitive dissonance of anyone not liking such a majestic, beautiful creature.

“I hate them,” she replied. “They’re noisy and they poop everywhere.”

Oh, pish posh … a little noise and poop plops are a small price to pay for the opportunity to merely be around these mysterious, gorgeous birds.

That was then.

This is now.

Several weeks have passed since I was enamored upon my first live peacock encounter.

I’m so over them.




You know that shiny black Impala? Well, you and I see a shiny black Impala. Know what the male peacock sees? Another male peacock staring back at him in mirror image … another male peacock encroaching right into his territory. And, underneath all that stunning beauty, a male peacock is just another male that feels compelled to protect his territory. And so — he attacks.

Now, how much damage could a peacock do, you chuckle … all those feathers, and such a fragile thing.

No. Peacocks are not fragile. They’re almost as big as wild turkeys, and they have sharp beaks and claws, and they’re not afraid to use them to ward off that challenger staring back at them in that big black mobile mirror.

The first time a peacock jumped up and spurred my bumper, I laughed and thought how funny that was. Stupid birds. When he moved to the side of the car and carved out a perfect semi-circle with his nasty talons, I was no longer laughing. I’d managed to drive that car for going on five years without one scratch, chip or dent, and that peacock brought an end to my no-scratch run in about three seconds.

As Bugs Bunny oft said, “This means war.”

From that point on, every time I parked my car, I was on the watch for the male peacocks, which roam around like a gang of street thugs, waiting for cars to enter their territory. Those with big trucks or SUVs, built high and with chrome bumpers that are less easily scratched just shrug them off. Me, I’m on the lookout every moment.

When I see a peacock get too close to my car, I rush off toward it, waving my arms frantically and making a loud shushing sound. The peacock then darts around the car to the other side. I chase it, it keeps going, and around and around we go, and no matter how fast I run, the peacock can trot faster. Effortlessly. Does it ever dart away to escape? No. It will run around the car, apparently forever, until I’m completely winded.

I’m reminded of that now-forbidden story, “Little Black Sambo,” who outwitted the tiger that was chasing him by going around and around the palm tree until the tiger melted into tiger butter.

Maybe the peacocks know about this story. They’re native to India, after all, which is where “Little Black Sambo” took place.

So. They plan to turn me into butter. I’m not a small gal. That’s going to be a lot of butter, people.

And yes, I know the old double-back and catch ’em the other way strategy. The peacock just stops in its tracks, cranes its neck out from around the corner and stares back at me in amusement.

“Silly, sad, slow human.”

When it finally tires of these shenanigans, the peacock just trots merrily off, fluffs itself up into its best “I am the Alpha Male” stance, and bellows that ear-splitting jungle caw-caw-caw shriek that rattles windows far and wide.

In other words, it is laughing at me.

Mocking me.

It’s peamock. I’m being peamocked.

And I do not like it one bit.

Did I fantasize about drop-kicking peacocks into the next county? Oh, you better believe it. Getting a slingshot and keeping a pocket full of rocks? Oh, that too. A rifle? A pistol? Yes. It’s reached the “me or them” stage. And I don’t even like guns. Not one bit. But oh, nothing stirs up my inner hunter than a peacock spurring my shiny black Impala.

But of course, I wouldn’t do it. Oh yes, I’d think about it a lot, lustily even, but I’m just not able to shoot an animal out of simple irritation, or even hurl rocks at one.

Well, maybe the rocks. Maybe if I didn’t actually hit it. Just scare it a little. What are the chances I’d actually bean one right in its tiny little pea-sized head and kill it. I ponder that possibility without remorse because they make me just that furious. But I’d never actually do it.

I arrived at another answer: the car cover I bought a few years back, the one that’s been gathering dust in the garage because car covers seem like a great idea when the car is new, and not so much when it’s not. Like, a week after you buy it.

And so, I pull up to the ranch in my Impala every morning and whip out that car cover, which I know call my peacock condom, and this has magically done the trick. The Peacock Gang just strolls right past my car now, completely calm and uninterested in my car. For now, we’ve achieved détente.

But oh no, don’t get me wrong — I haven’t grown fond of them. But I’ve at least stopped fantasizing about all the ways to prepare a delicious peacock when hunting season begins.

— Email Debra DeAngelo at debra@wintersexpress.com; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com

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