Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beloved Jack

After a long nights work at the hospital, I arrived home and looked out the top half of the kitchen door. The sun was beginning to dry the morning dew that glistened on the lawn. The peahen and guinea were ambling over the grass in search of food, while several roosters meandered near the fence line. I noticed a peacock feather near the patio and then another. For a moment I was thankful that Jack had blessed me with a long awaited feather.

But soon I observed large feathers spread over the yard in clumps forming a path, and I knew without seeing that at the end he lay dead. I quickly unlocked the door and headed to where his broken body lay open, his remains devoured. I was saddened and wondered what had dared attack such a large and powerful bird. The imprint of a substantial sized raccoon paw was evident in the dirt next to where the peacock rested. I was angry. Unlike the hawk that had swiftly broken the neck of a guinea fowl five months earlier, it was evident that Jack and the coon had battled and in the end the less ferocious had not survived.

No longer would he grace us with his royal beauty, his green and copper iridescent feathers that held hundreds of bright blue eyes spread wide like flowers blooming in spring time. Or when at rest, the plume of colors trailing behind and resembling the long train of a woman’s brightly colored ball gown. No longer would he peck at the glass on the door awaiting pieces of bread, and then turning to squawk at the guinea that clumsily stepped upon his plumage. No longer would he proudly prance and vibrate his feathers in an effort to impress his lifelong mate, Diane.

When Jay arrived home from work he buried the remains, marking the site with stones. White hibiscus were picked from a nearby bush and distributed over the stones. As rose scented incense drifted heavenward, we thanked God and the peacock for blessing us with his presence.

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