On Christmas Eve evening I went out as usual to put the gang away and, once that was done, I went to sit down at my picnic table close to their yards to wait for the peacocks to ascend into the trees.
But my heart galloped to an abrupt halt when I saw, just beside the picnic table, a pile of feathers – King peacock’s tail feathers – about 20 or so. A feeling of grief overwhelmed me because I assumed that the fox had killed him, so I sat down and sobbed inconsolably until, a few moments later, Son bounded out of the house to see where I was. My sobs were rather loud, so he found me quite easily and proceeded to laugh hysterically when I gasped, “King is dead.”
“Mum, you idiot,” Son said, sitting next to me and putting his arm around my heaving shoulders. “He’s fine – see – he’s right there!” He pointed and, through my tear-engorged eyes I saw King strutting across the lawn towards me, looking a little less regal than usual.
I stopped crying with sorrow and started crying with relief. “King!” I called and he came closer.
“He must be molting, Mum. I just collected all his feathers this afternoon and put them in a pile for you,” Son said gently, still chuckling.
I dried my eyes on my shirt. “Would you mind not calling me an idiot?” I said.
“I’ll consider it,” he said.