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.
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.
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:
- Why do all true animal stories essentially revolve around poop?
- Who the heck names a peacock “Gerald”?
So what do you think? And what’s new with you?