"The Social Network of the South"
Today, I was driving along Main Street in our little town (yes, it's really called Main Street) and happened to catch a glimpse of a peacock in someone's yard. It surprised me a little, honestly. When I was growing up, I would see peacocks pretty regularly in my great grandmother's yard, then, later, in my grandmother's yard. I guess I got my need to have fowl from them - my chickens do make me happy.
So, today's sighting reminded me of a...err...an...incident. I guess that's the word I would use. The memory still makes me laugh out loud. I just love this about the South. Just when you think we are being civilized and slap full of class, something like this happens and makes you remember where you came from. And I just love it.
From May 2011:
I have very clear memories of my great grandmother walking around in her yard wearing her big straw hat, carrying a handful of corn kernels and calling up her guineas and peacocks. She would walk down the steps from her front porch and take a right. Walking between that corner of the house and the enormous magnolia tree (the one favored for climbing) would lead her toward the chicken house. This is the path I can remember her taking. I remember the sound she would make and how those birds would come out of nowhere to grab a kernel or two as she scattered them in the grass. She would talk to them , they would eat and then each would be on their way. Not that anyone I know has ever eaten a peacock, but it was always clear to me – even when I was 8 years old – that the pecking order (sorry for the pun)was set and non-negotiable. People first, peafowls second.
Apparently, the order has been upset.
Over the weekend, we went to a family reunion in South Georgia. Admittedly, there are several aspects of this little get-together that I could focus on that might provide you a giggle or two, but I’m going to stick with the peacock. As southern family reunions go, it wasn’t a big crowd. Fifty or so. And food for many more.
It was held at a cabin out from town. On the front porch were rockers so the adults could keep an eye on the little kids running around, visit with each other and catch anybody that tried to leave early. The scenery was beautiful – beyond the cars in the driveway were longhorn cattle grazing in a field, buffalo milling about and colorful peacocks hopping from fencepost to ground to tree to Mercedes.
Yes, Mercedes. Someone had driven a beautiful, flawless, perfectly clean, black and new Mercedes to this little soiree and not only had some of the first cousins noticed, but so had one of the peafowls. It seems that this bird was threatened by his own reflection. In retaliation of another male being on his turf, he attacked. Over and over. Beak and claws slammed into the German luxury car parked in a South Georgia field as children frolicked, ladies tried not to stare and the men looked sympathetically at the owner.
So, I ask you. What has become of this peacock to think it so important that it would attack a symbol of the higher order? I don’t know exactly, but I can tell you this. There was a maroon 1998 Buick parked right next to that Mercedes and it left without a scratch on it. Seems to me that peacock made his choice and I'm going to remember what I saw. You'd be well-served to remember, too. Sometimes things aren't all beautiful blues and greens and long graceful feathers. You'd better look beyond the glitz and watch out for your car.
People 0, peafowls 1.