The pooping peacock

I haven’t had a lot of sleep just lately, because I’ve been stressing over my cows. We have three, and until recently they were all pregnant. We now have two cows, two babies … and one cow who still hasn’t bloody popped … so sleep continues to elude.

You have no idea how many things can go wrong during cow childbirth. And the longer I have to wait, the more I google, and the more I google, the more convinced I am that, sooner or later, I’m going to be up to my armpit in a cow’s vagina, wondering what the hell to do next. And then – I know this will happen because I have been present at a few calvings by now – the cow will poop on my head.

When this happens I will tell you all about it, assuming I survive, but for now I want to share something that gave me my first belly laugh of spring: a WhatsApp message from my niece, the intrepid Princess Swan, who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

And so the adventure goes: I am sitting in reception and I get a call from one of our boardrooms. Grace, one of our cleaners, screams, “SWAN! COME HERE!”  I run up the stairs and see, in the passage, a magnificent beast. 

A peacock.

And that peacock had shat everywhere.

How did it get inside? you may ask. It came from the roof, is our only guess. Swaggered down the stairs and into our lives.

Courtney's peacock.jpg
Peacock, looking a little ruffled

I call Free Me, an organization that rescues birds. (I have called them in the past with dying baby birds and they always come get them and make sure they survive.) But a peacock is not an indigenous bird, therefore they can’t help. They tell me to call the bird vet in Bryanston.

The vet is more than willing to take him in until the owner comes looking. Good – problem solved … almost! “How do you catch it?” I ask.

“Oh, simple. You merely put a towel over its head and it will sit down and calm down.”

Oh, if it were only that simple. Reuben, our IT guy, turns out to be not very good at this. He doesn’t want to get too close, and the towel keeps missing the peacock, which starts to get flustered. There is poop. And feathers. Eventually I, being an animal whisperer, intervene. I take the towel from Reuben and gently drop it over the peacock’s head. The peacock promptly panics.

But only for a minute. I guess the vet people know their stuff, because he does calm down, and I pick him up and cradle him like a baby. “Now what?” I ask Dalize, my center manager.

“We take him home,” she responds. But … where is home? We call around and learn he lives at the British International College just down the road. Dalize and I hop into her car. I am still holding the bird. For some reason no one else seems to want to have anything to do with it.

When we arrive, Dalize steps out of the car and walks to the security guards’ booth near the gate. “We have your bird,” she says.

Puzzled look. “You have our bird?”

“Yes, we have your bird.”

“Where is our bird?”

“Your bird is in the car.”

I get out of the car, still cradling this peacock wrapped in a towel like a newborn, and place him on the grass. Immediately about fifty kids run up, screaming, “Gerald! They rescued Gerald!!” Apparently Gerald has been missing for weeks.

Back at the office I run straight for the bathroom, because I have poop aaaallll over me.

So that is what happened to me this morning. What’s new with you?

After reading about Princess Swan’s adventure with the pooping peacock, my tribulations with the popping (and non-popping) cows pale into insignificance. I am left with two questions – and these may be among the Great Questions Of Life:

  1. Why do all true animal stories essentially revolve around poop?
  2. Who the heck names a peacock “Gerald”?

So what do you think? And what’s new with you?

Author: Belladonna Took

Well into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, perpetually at risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic.

23 thoughts on “The pooping peacock”

  1. What a wonderful story Belladaonna, glad to see you posting again! And yes, all good animal stories do seem to involve poop. Lot’s of good stories without them seem to as well! 😉


  2. Goodness! We rescued a Nene from a very busy Salt Lake City street years ago. I can totally relate to this story. Nothing can poop like a goose…..unless it’s a peacock! XOXOXOXXO


  3. For a minute there, I thought the cleaner was yelling at the bird and had mistaken a peacock for a swan. But then I picked up on the Princess Swan moniker and straightened my brain out. I love the barnyard tales and am happy to hear Gerald made it back to college safely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have so much fun naming the various people who wander through my blog. “Swan” got her name because she’s a talented artist, and when she was little she and her sister produced two beautiful bird paintings during an art class. Swan’s, of course, was of a swan. I was visiting South Africa at the time, and Swan’s sister gifted me with her painting … but Swan just couldn’t bring herself to give it up no matter how much I pleaded… 🙂 Oh well, maybe one day I’ll have an original work by her!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Odd. I’ve tended to give people I dislike private nicknames so I can talk about them to their face. I suspect you are a nicer person than I.


        1. Kirzar, Missus Took also gives nicknames to certain disagreeable persons who truly deserve them. She created one of her more ‘memorable’ nicknames for a less-than-professional person who was involved in
          dog-rescue some 80+ kilometres from us. The person was rather short in stature, so Missus Took named her “The Poison Dwarf” < Oh, my ! Hopefully I don’t get in trouble for divulging this…grin >


          1. Hah – I’d forgotten that one. I was trying to remember some of the less complimentary, but couldn’t come up with anything except “The Little Pink Man” (a former editor). And the PD didn’t get her name because of her stature, but because of her character and behavior. I’m hardly in a position to call anyone short!


          2. Absolutely not true ! !
            Average woman height USA 162.9 cm (5 ft 4 in)
            Average woman height South Africa 159 cm (5 ft 2 1⁄2 in)
            Average Belladonna height 167 cm (5 ft, 6 in)


  4. Birds of a feather?

    Cows of a herd?

    The menagerie that poops together, stays together?

    I’m too busy giggling over a peacock called Gerald to formulate a coherent reply 🙂

    Hope you have a popped cow by now!


    1. Yeah, isn’t it just the strangest choice of name? And NO, she hasn’t popped yet. I’m just hoping it’s an easy labor, because she is flat unwilling to stay in the corral at night … I have horrible visions of chasing her around a wet, bumpy pasture in the middle of the night while her calf hangs half in and half out of her. SO need this to be OVER!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And, not only that, but she broke down the fence between the upper and lower north pastures sometime last night and is now contentedly grazing in the lower pasture which we were trying to allow to grow a bit before turning the cattle (bovine mowing machines!) loose on it. Not to be outdone, the big Red Angus cow has now followed her thru into that pasture, after telling her own calf “You’re on yer own, kid!”


        1. Yep, she did that last night. The boys fixed it this afternoon. I hope it holds until the baby comes … Now they know the grass really is better on that side of the fence!


      2. I have a peacock named Fred. Don’t know if that’s as strange as Gerald. Fred got his name because I had to take him to the vet for a sinus abscess and they needed a name for the records. First thing that pops into my head is Fred! As far as the cows go, just call me. I’ve watched enough Dr Pol I could probably deliver a calf or if there were problems, know what to do next. LOVE Dr. Pol 1


        1. You’ve told me about Dr Pol … I should probably see if I can find him at the library. Thanks for stopping by, my friend! And yeah … Fred … Not quite as strange as Gerald, but not entirely peacocky, is it?


  5. “Gerald” strikes me as an absolutely FABULOUS peacock name. Mostly cuz I can’t think of any name that wouldn’t seem fairly ridiculous, given the animal in question.

    By the by, gonna file away that “when attempting to capture a panicked and pooping peacock, first drop a towel on its head” tip for future use. Which I can only hope I get a chance to use someday!


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