16 May 2021

Cedarhurst Needs Peafowl

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Sean Flynn, in LithHub, discusses the perfectly natural human need for some peafowl strutting about the property, perching in one’s trees, lending the desmesne a bit of exoticism and tone, and –of course– screaming their heads off.

My wife Louise had spontaneously volunteered to take a peacock from our friend Danielle because a peacock, in a fundamental sense, is not a bird that one possesses so much as experiences; as with an especially moving work of art, the simple act of looking at it will stir emotions. A peacock, she imagined, would patrol the yard like a sentry in dress uniform, high-stepping through the irises and roosting on the low branches of the cedars or the high peak of the barn. Every so often he would throw up a fabulous spray of feathers for no other reason than to remind us that such a spectacle is possible. It would be inevitable and yet somehow a surprise every time.

That is what one peacock would do, but only one.

Louise did not want Flannery O’Connor’s multitudes. She wanted a single peacock, a manageable number proportional to our small phony farm. The property was suitable for a pair of chickens, not a flock, after all, and the paddock was properly sized for a miniature horse, not a Thoroughbred. We were scaled for a solitary peacock, Louise insisted. Three was another matter altogether. A part-time job, she said. A petting zoo.

“You can’t have one peacock,” I told her on the drive home. “He’d be lonely.”

From: Why Peacocks? An Unlikely Search for Meaning in the World’s Most Magnificent Bird.


“Cedarhurst,” our Southern future retirement home. Ten acres is surely enough to keep the peafowl happy.

2 Feedbacks on "Cedarhurst Needs Peafowl"


There is an antebellum home near me that kept peafowl on the grounds for over 100 years because they served as an intruder alert system.

Schill McGuffin

As Frank notes, prospective owners expecting peafowl to be serene creatures are likely to be disappointed. Folks of a rural background, accustomed to the crowing of roosters in the early morn, may be better prepared.


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