When a big bird alights at a local farm, it’s usually a goose, duck or turkey, but this bird wasn’t one of them.

Its iridescent blue head and tail feathers sprouting eyes made that clear.

The peacock barely chirped so Sugarloaf Twp. didn’t resound with a wail that Raymond Carver transcribed as “may-awe, may-awe.”

“If it’d been something I was hearing late at night for the first time,” the narrator in Carver’s short story “Feathers” says, “I’d have thought it was somebody dying or else something wild and dangerous.”

A gift of peacock feathers in the story precedes misfortune for the narrator and his wife. But for the giver, the feathers represent gratitude to her husband who fulfilled her girlhood fantasy of owning a peacock.

Peacocks aren’t pets though even royalty coveted them for their colors, tail feathers and headpiece worthy of a flamenco dancer.

KENT JACKSON / STAFF PHOTO
A peacock crossing sign stands along St. Johns Road, Sugarloaf Twp.

 

They live naturally in forests in India, central Africa and are endangered in southeast Asia.

By day, they flock.

At night, they roost.

In cities, they turn bothersome.

On farms, however, they protect crops by eating insects and mice.

In Sugarloaf Twp., Edward Kwolek has raised them for years and posted a sign on St. John’s Road that says “Peacock Crossing.”