wings and things


on February 28, 2015

Gutsy, or Gutsy9, our pied peachick/hen, turned two last November. Anyway, she has now assimilated into our flock of peafowl but the others are still in awe of her audacity. If I leave the back door open even for a few seconds G9 will not hesitate to come into the house. This morning, for example:


She is often outside one of the four doors to the house, wanting to come in.


Or posing outside; yes, she is quite the poser and always has been.






Sometimes she still tries to fly up onto my shoulder but she’s a bit big for that now so I usually sit at one of the outside tables and she jumps up and lets me tickle her under the chin or stroke her head feathers. I wish I could take her into the nursing home to see Ants but it would probably freak her out now (not to mention the staff!)

Oh well, I can always show Ants the photos – the old and the new.


In the following photo she is resting on Anthony’s arm in the nursing home (2012).


And in this one, she is looking up at him during one of his last visits home (early 2014).




G9 has been, and continues to be, a very important addition to our lives. As many of you know, she was a bit of a foundling, rejected by her mother (whose identity I still don’t know) possibly because she is half white and half blue (‘pied’) and she has a very crooked toe on her left foot. Raising her was a learning curve for me because I had to take her everywhere with me during those first few weeks of her life, either in my pocket or underneath the collar of my shirt – a shock of course to anyone who spotted her. The funniest of these occasions was when I met friends for lunch at a restaurant and she poked her little head out of my shirt.

In many ways, G9 represents the years of our transition (Anthony’s, Ming’s and mine) from Anthony being home/coming home to Anthony being in the nursing home permanently. It is now the beginning of his fourth year there which somewhat flabbergasts me as he has outlived his advanced prostate cancer now by years. It is the Parkinson’s disease that so incapacitates him. He is now (and has been for some time) a ‘two person assist’ meaning that it requires two carers to get him out of bed/chair to toilet/dining room etc.

It’s a peculiar comparison perhaps but G9’s adorability, tenacity and head-held-highness resembles the way Anthony is coping with his situation. He is never depressed, rarely complains and is able to glean joy from the smallest of things; my presence in his room; freshly picked flowers; the domestic staff’s attention to detail; food (the lunchtime roast, my gifts of blue cheese and cherries); the occasional brandy; a soft blanket pulled up around his arms (yes, even in the heat of summer!); quips and humour from carers; slapstick comedy via Ming and me; and the pot of fake silk roses I gave him some time ago that everyone admires.

G9 is gutsy, yes, but Ants is gutsier; Anthony IS Gutsy.

27 responses to “Gutsy

  1. Both Gutsy and Ants are very blessed to have you in their lives…. because as stoic and brave Ants is, you are a very important part of the reason he is so…though I know that you do it out of love and nothing more,,, I was just thinking of Gutsy and how she came to be part of your lives and I thought it would make such a cute movie… Little late though now… she’s all grown up Diane

  2. That bird is so lucky to be here. I remember when you thought you’d have to do away with her because of her feet. How nice that she’s grown up to be such a beautiful bird.
    And yes, Ants has to be gutsy to go through this disease with dignity.

  3. Vicki says:

    Such a delightful post, Julie.
    Shame you can’t take Gutsy in to see Anthony now, but as you say, Gutsy is just too big.

    Can’t believe how time flies.

    I must say Gutsy has one very arrogant turn of the head now.
    V xox

  4. love this Jules. Hugs. ❤
    Diana xo

  5. loved seeing these \Julie. I like how you spoke about the transition in your lives. keep going girl and get on your bike more LOL

  6. This is such a lovely post. 🙂

  7. susanpoozan says:

    As the previous commentator has already said, you are the reason Ants has done so well. Your love and care give him the will to live and enjoy what he can.

  8. Beautiful post Jules, both in words and pictures. They are both lucky to have you. 🙂 Hugs Jules

  9. Terry says:

    I can remember the day G9 was born and the story of how you single handed raised him..To me, he is a part of your family’s life as he shows strength keeping you strong enough to deal with Ant’s PD. Hugs to you my friend

  10. M Kimball says:

    Reblogged this on elephantbeads inspire blog and commented:
    This is an inspiring read – both for the wonderful bond between a bird and the family that raised her, and the bravery required of everyone when a loved one suffers from a chronic illness. Love this blog!

  11. tootlepedal says:

    Great Gutsy pictures. It is really good to see her looking so fine after such a tentative start.

  12. I’d say you’ve got some of that “GUSTY” in you too!

  13. Luanne says:

    I remember when she was a baby!

  14. Oh how she has grown,

  15. How fun to have had the experience with Gutsy, and the parallels must be an encouragement.

  16. janeslog says:

    She looks lovely.

    After the discussion about that dress being either blue and black or gold and white we should have the discussion on whether her neck feathers are either green or blue!

  17. Tiny says:

    I loved this delightful post Julie! She was so adorable as a little chick, and now she’s all grown up, beautiful…and gutsy.

  18. Trisha says:

    What a special bird Gutsy is. Looking back at your journey with her, it seems she must have come into your lives to provide some comfort, companionship and humor!

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