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Forty Years with Birds and Dogs - Care and Respect

What is wild? Thinking of Mr. Peacock

He wasn't very wild. He wanted to be in the pen with the other birds, waited on the hen house roof until I filled the water troughs and put out the lay pellets and corn. So what does wild mean? Number one in my dog-eared American Heritage Dictionary says it means "Occurring, growing, or living in a natural state; not domesticated, cultivated, or tamed." The definition includes a lot of other things, too, like "savage...unruly...extravagant,...storm"...and "arbitrary equivalence..."

Mr. Peacock, though gradually getting used to me, was a bit arbitrary. Read More 

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In Memorium--An Allegory

Mr. Peacock is gone--all but a few scattered feathers left behind on the ice.
He couldn't override the ancient instincts to roost high in the Ponderosa.
He couldn't learn why I locked him in at night.

The raccoon watched and learned where the peacock slept.
The raccoon crept silently up the tall straight tree trunk
And took young Mr. Peacock before he could fly away.

Many search and find more than ancient instincts preach,
While many miss too much in loving the past too well.
Do we dishonor the most precious of gifts?

Why do we rebuild on flood plains and shallow bays
While the oceans rise?

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Wild Or Domestic

What does it mean to be wild, especially for a peacock? For PP (Mr. Peacock) it means leaving the pen at dusk, with its food and water and the company of assorted domestic birds, for the wilds of 14-degree nights high up in a Ponderosa or huddled under the eaves of the hen house. Anything to avoid being shut up in a dog igloo on a nice warm bed of straw. Read More 

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Happy New Year PP

Just a moment to honor one tough, honorable, bird. He comes to visit every day now, sometimes sleeps on top of the hen house or high up in the Ponderosas that inhabit our back yard. He appears when Bobbie goose hears the water running and starts honking, "Let me out of here." Then he waits on the hen house roof or the chicken pen fence until I've filled water pans and set out lay pellets for my ten birds. He may peck a bit at the food and drink I leave for him on the roof, then he joins the turkey, geese, chickens and ducks in the pen. He prefers to keep to himself. Probably because Red, the RI red chicken, took him on one day. In the lower pen he has a nice dog igloo lined with straw that gives him shelter when needed or a sun bath when the sun is out. His name is PP. He is a young peacock. Read More 

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