Gutsy9 has now been living outside for 16 days. To begin with, he was sleeping in a big cage within a pen, but he has now graduated to sleeping outside the cage because he is tall enough to drink from the water container without the risk of drowning.
Zaruma and Tapper (married Muscovy ducks) have taken a liking to him so I put them in the same pen as G9 for the night, with the geese and turkeys in a separate pen.
When I go out to the pens in the morning to let them all out for the day, all the birds go crazy with delight but G9 literally jumps for joy to see me and sometimes twirls himself around in a little happy dance before following me across the lawn and into the back veranda of the house.
He followed me into the bathroom today, asking for a cuddle!
I went to see a new chiropractor today because my chiro. brother is living in Honiara at the moment. So I showered and dressed in my going-to-town clothes, making sure I had decent underwear on in case I had to get into a gown.
Just before I left home, I ran outside in my old sandals to let the geese, ducks and turkeys out of their pens for the day. I accidentally stepped in a couple of puddles and so my feet were covered in mud, but, as I was running late, I just rinsed and wiped as much of the grime off as possible, then threw socks and boots on and raced into town.
Imagine my horror when the chiropractor asked me to take my boots and socks off! Dirty feet that have been inside socks and boots for an hour on a hot day aren’t particularly pleasant things to deal with.
Reluctantly, I took off my boots, then said to the chiropractor, Do I have to take my socks off? I think my feet might be dirty. He just smiled and said yes because he wanted to test my reflexes. Argh! So I peeled my socks off to reveal two filthy feet with matching toenails. I looked at them in shock and said, Oh no, they are dirty! as if I had never seen those feet before, as if they belonged to someone else, a dirty person.
The rest of me is clean, I said lamely, as I explained about the chookyard mishap. But the chiropractor just smiled and did the reflex thing and asked about the birds as if to distract himself from the horror of touching my feet.
Well how was I suppose to know he’d want to see my feet?
Ah the joy of it! Cycling along country roads in
the hurricane-like winds gentle autumn breeze, magpies dive-bombing your head birds twittering, the sun burning a hole in your back shining, farm trucks zooming violently past and carrying you along in their terrifying slipstreams gently idling past you, cows escaping yards and galloping towards you mooing quietly in the paddocks, children laughing at you smiling and waving – yes, pure joy!
The first person to comment on my blog (apart from my mother) was Lynda whose blog, Life in the Farmlet (http://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com/), has entranced me from the start of my blog journey. She likes geese and so do I and that is how our friendship began.
One of the things I have discovered in following Lynda’s blog is that she is a woman of many talents. For example, she is really crafty (in the literal sense) i.e. her sewing abilities far surpass my own inability to sew a button back on a shirt. She is an artist.
Well, guess what? Lynda has sent me a gift! Here is the post in which she describes it:
This apron is so exquisite, I don’t think I can possibly wear it – I want to frame it! I love it!
Lynda, you absolutely shine. Thank you from the bottom and top of my heart!
Ming adored Gutsy9 to begin with but over the weeks I have noticed a subtle change in Ming’s attitude. He’s been saying things like this:
- Get RID of him, Mum!
- He’s making a mess!
- No, I don’t want to babysit him!
- How come you’re always cuddling him – what about me?
- Why do you have to take him everywhere with you?
- You’re turning him into a spoilt brat!
- You love him more than you love me!
- No, yes, oh okay I am a bit jealous – WHO WOULDN’T BE!
Tonight is Gutsy9′s third night camping outside with a couple of new friends and I am just as anxious as I was the first night. When I mentioned my concerns to Ming, he yelled, “Well, good riddance and I hope he stays out there forever!”
“Wait until you have a child and you’ll know what it feels like,” I muttered under my breath but, unfortunately, Ming heard me.
“Mum, please, seriously, who do you love most – me or him?”
I pretended to think for a bit … “You, Ming.”
“THANK GOD!” he said, giving me a hug.
[Note: For anyone who doesn't realize, Ming is my 19-year-old son and Gutsy9 is my 4-month-old peacock.]
Yesterday afternoon I made a sudden decision to put Gutsy9 outside for the night, so Ming and I took him out to the chookpen, where he has been spending most of the afternoons lately, and put him in the big cage with food and water.
At dusk I snuck out to see how he was coping and sat at a distance, so he couldn’t see me. He was trotting back and forth in the cage and making his little howling sound, but he was also eating and drinking.
Eventually, when I could see that he would cope, I went into the pen, sat on the ground next to his cage and poked my finger through to stroke his head and he made a little trilling sound – happy. And even when I left him, he didn’t howl. But I came back into the house a bit teary.
Well, he was absolutely fine this morning! As soon as I let him out, he galloped after me into the house, straight to my office, flew up onto my lap and went straight to sleep while I did some writing.
He’s outside again tonight, but he isn’t howling – phew! He is becoming a peacock finally and the adult peas have almost stopped pecking him.
Don’t look back, my little changeling.
(Note: the pic. is nearly 4 months ago – G9 is a big boy now!)