The animal kingdom often reveals that life is a test of survival of the fittest. Or sometimes, being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Case in point: my neighbour has a mini-farm housing a good variety of birds. She's got Guinea Hens (think bread box with a clown face), swans, chickens, geese and a pen full of peacocks. All these birds make noise. And eggs. Lots of eggs. Who doesn't love fresh eggs, straight from the chicken? Actually, what doesn't like eggs is more the question. Weasels love eggs, fishers love eggs, racoons love eggs, snakes love eggs, and so does the sly fox.
|Clown-faced bread box aka the Guinea Hen|
|My neighbour's geese occasionally come to visit|
|Newest adult male peacock visiting my home. I call him Turkwise.|
|Percy, the one-year-old male peacock, shaking his booty. |
Note the still-developing tail feathers.
|Percy and his brother, Snickety.|
|My Ian feeding the peacock brothers|
Percy and Snickety are peacock brothers, approximately one year old in the pictures above, which were taken a couple of weeks ago. Their 'human,' my neighbour, gives them free rein of her property and since her Guinea Hens come to visit me, the peacock brothers have decided that our home is also worthy of a daily visit. The young peacocks are quite domesticated and will run to me the moment I'm in view. If I'm inside, they'll peck on the windows for my attention and my endless supply of bread.
Alas, this is the part where nature can be cruel.
A fox has been seen wandering about our properties. It has a lame front paw and is often seen during the day. My neighbour notices that chicken eggs and goose eggs are disappearing. She reinforces the metal fencing surrounding the pens, ensuring an animal cannot easily dig its way in. Then she lets the peacock brothers out of their pen - the parents and one sibling prefer to stay in the pen but the brothers love their freedom. Out they go and are immediately joined by the newest peacock, a blue and white new fellow who came out of the woods and adopted them. I named him Turkwise, due to his turquoise colour and the fact that my granddaughter pronounces the colour as 'Turkwise.'
Shortly after they are released, the sound of shrieking peacocks fill the air. Peacock feathers drift down. My neighbour runs out in time to see a fox slinking away with one of the peacocks in its mouth. She chases it to one of her outbuildings where she discovers two young fox kits. Mother fox has caught their dinner.
Nature giveth and nature taketh away. Poor Percy.
Stay safe everyone.
J.C. Kavanagh, author of
The Twisted Climb - Darkness Descends (Book 2)
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2018, Critters Readers Poll and Best YA Book FINALIST at The Word Guild, Canada
The Twisted Climb,
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2016, P&E Readers Poll
Novels for teens, young adults and adults young at heart
Twitter @JCKavanagh1 (Author J.C. Kavanagh)