I’ve mentioned our peacock perils before . All has been well in the peacock department lately. Aladdin our resident peacock happily struts around the Koons Zoo and makes at least one, usually more, daily trips down the road (without crossing the road) to my inlaws aka his second home to eat cat food and sit on their deck then typically comes back home to roost on top of our house (seriously, it’s classy!) or in the barnyard for the night. It’s a rough life he lives.
Lately though, he’s been a little lonely. The chickens and llama and sheep and goat and etc just aren’t filling the void in his life. The void where a peahen (that’s a girl peacock for all you cityslickers out there) should be. He’s been squawking, which if you’re not familiar with how a peacock sounds, imagine a young child yelling “HELP! HELP!” over and over or a car horn honking repeatedly, a lot lately. His squawks are those of despair and desperation. Homeboy wants a girlfriend! We’ve been doing what farmers have been doing for generations, looking on Craig’s List for one, but so far our search has proven futile and there’s only been one auction so far this year and we missed it so no peahen yet. In a word, he’s PITIFUL.
Apparently, Aladdin wasn’t impressed with the speed in which we were locating a mate for him so he took matters into his own hands talons wings?. One afternoon 2 weeks ago as I was just getting home from work my phone started blowing up with texts that said things like “City Hall just posted on FB about your peacock” and “City Hall has your peacock” and “Did you lose your peacock?”
Umm what? Trust me, I was confused as you are right now. Did someone pick up our peacock and take him to City Hall? Did our peacock walk/fly the 5+ miles to City Hall to wind up in the lost and found? The questions I had were aplenty.
So I checked Facebook and sure enough the City of VM had posted the following status update, “So…I receive calls about stray dogs, missing cats, and sometimes even missing stray kids. Today I have someone who had a peacock show up in her yard. If you are missing a peacock or you know someone missing a peacock it has been located 3.5 miles south of town. Please call Beverly @ 123-4567 to reclaim.”
Guess who else lives in the same general vicinity as 3.5 miles south of town?
Guess who didn’t see her peacock in any of his normal haunts around the Koons Zoo or adjoining properties?
Guess who went outside and honked her horn to see if Aladdin would “answer”? Oh yeah, that’s how we talk to him, we honk the horn, he squawks back, communication at it’s finest.
Guess who did not answer?
Guess who’s peacock was hanging out at Beverly ’s house about a mile northeast of our house?
Ding! Ding! Honestly, this stuff could only happen to us.
So I called Beverly and we discussed the wandering peacock. She said he’d shown up earlier that morning and had been hanging around all afternoon. She said she knew he belonged to someone because of the collar and tags hanging around his neck. Just kidding, she said she knew he belonged to someone because of how beautiful and clearly well fed he was. Which was a nice way of saying our peacock is fat. Next time I’m having a “fat day” I’m just going to look myself in the mirror and say, “PP, you’re not fat you’re just WELL FED.” I think that will make me feel so much better. Anyway, I explained to Beverly that he’s never wandered off before but that it had become increasingly obvious that he was looking for a mate so he must’ve decided to take his pursuit of happiness in her direction and that his name was Aladdin. She got a kick out of that, what not everyone names their peacock?!? She also told me they had chickens so she thought maybe he was willing to settle for a chicken instead of a peahen. We have chickens too but he must’ve wanted some other options. And then to be sure it was in fact, our peacock, I asked her to honk at him and see if he responded or to yell, “Aladdin, come! Come, Aladdin!” and see if he came. Not that he does for us at home but just thought it’d be fun for Beverly to try. Pretty sure Beverly thought I was crazy. She went back outside while talking to me so we could verify that it was Aladdin and he had disappeared, gone, vanished. I told Beverly to call me if he turned up again. So basically I activated the Neighborhood Watch…for a peacock.
Then I loaded the kids up in the Princess Mobile and we drove around the countryside with our windows down, stopping every so often to lay on the horn and yell “ALADDIN!” and then listen for his response. Nothing. He was nowhere to be found but we were only a little worried because we figured he’d come home when the sun went down to “roost” but we were worried that something (ie: coyote, fox, etc) might get him on his trek home. It was a Wednesday night so we went to church and put Aladdin on the prayer request list and his return was prayed for right after so and so’s sick mother and John’s Bible reading and church attendance. ;) Seriously. Only in a small church, folks. The prayers paid off because we got a text as we were leaving church that night from GI Joe’s mom who had stayed home from church sick. The text said, “Aladdin’s home!” and then she called us and kept yelling “HELP!” at Aladdin so he’d “talk” back and we could hear it. It was hysterical. And when we got home we honked our horn at him and the sound of his squawk was music to our ears. Our prodigal peacock had returned!!! We would’ve killed the fattened calf and had a feast to welcome him home except Holy Cow IS our fattened calf and we all know THAT is never gonna happen.
The next morning as I left for work, I looked around for Aladdin and didn’t see him, not unusual because he has a couple different hangouts and isn’t always visible. So I honked several times to see if he was around, he didn’t respond. I knew what this meant. The prodigal peacock had wandered off again. Not 15 minutes later, sweet Beverly called to tell me that he had returned to their house. I called GI Joe and told him so he set out on the 4wheeler with a fishnet to retrieve Aladdin and bring him home. As you can imagine, that went swimmingly…or not. Everytime GI Joe got close enough to him he flew up into some trees or went further into the woods. After about 20 minutes of this nonsense, GI Joe headed home peacockless and decided that we’d just catch him when he came home that night to roost. I called Beverly back to let her know that Aladdin may be hanging out at their house today because we weren’t able to catch him to bring him home. She was so nice and said that her grandkids were visiting from Chicago and were just fascinated by the peacock hanging around because apparently in Chicago they don’t frequently look out their bedroom windows and see a peacock fanning in the yard. I think that explains the delinquency among today's youth, not enough wildlife in the urban areas. :)
As expected, Aladdin made his way home that evening and sat on our back deck and was looking thru the patio doors at us. GI Joe snuck around from the front of the house with fishnet in hand and caught him. Then he put him in a secure, pen that he would not be able to escape from just until we are able to find him a mate, then we’ll let him loose again because it’s kinda cool to have a peacock randomly strutting around your house and yard, try it sometime.
Aladdin is not happy about his house arrest and belligerently squawked and strutted at GI Joe after he put him in his new home. But he’s coping and he's staying off of the City Hall's facebook status, so it's all good.
As for us, once he was home, safe and secure, I commented on the City’s facebook status letting them know the peacock had returned home and all was well. I have a feeling that from here on out whenever they get a call about a strange stray animal, we’ll be the first call they make.
And with that, I think we successfully clenched the title of the (outside of) town crazies with all the animals and who once lost their peacock. A title we’re proud to bear.