wings and things

The pile of feathers

on December 26, 2011

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.

14 responses to “The pile of feathers

  1. victoriaaphotography says:

    Ditto (to the tears).
    I would have been just as devastated as you.
    I’ve only ever really had pet fish (of my own), although when young, we always had pet budgies, rabbits, white mice, dogs, cats etc in our family.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Yes it’s so awful when you lose one but thankfully King is right outside my office door – almost featherless so looking really weird, but at least he’s alive!

  2. Judith Post says:

    You have a nice son. “Idiot” and all.

  3. Oh, I’m so glad. A couple of weeks ago, I found a dead Tanager on our deck. He was so perfect with his glorious colors. I’m brewing a poem about him, but I had a very heavy heart that day.

  4. Northern Narratives says:

    Great story.

  5. Annie says:

    So glad to hear that King is okay and Christmas has brought joy to you and family. Bad luck about the gardening!

  6. Ingrid Rickersey says:

    I think perhaps you can bring some of this saga into into your Novella story too!

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