I wasn’t sad to lose Lydia. I knew the day would eventually come when either someone would shoot her out of distaste for her obnoxious vocalizations, or I would take her somewhere else to live. Fortunately, the later occurred first.
The thing with driving four hours with a Peahen in the backseat, is that stopping for any length of time really isn’t possible. I knew she was cramped in the pet carrier and didn’t want to stress her anymore than necessary. I did, however, stop at Beckie’s on Highway 62 for an ice cream cone.
We arrived in eastern Oregon in the early evening. I followed my GPS instructions to where I was supposed to be… and nothing. I backtracked a couple of miles, turned off the GPS and paid close attention to signs, finally locating Petersen’s Rock Garden as the sun was dipping behind the hills.
I knocked on the door of the house that seemed the most habitable and introduced myself to the woman who answered. She wasn’t all that impressed that I’d brought Lydia, though I’d called her from Grants Pass before I left to let her know I was coming. I hurried to show her that I’d also picked up a big bag of poultry feed to help out with the feeding of the resident Peafowl flock, and to show my appreciation for Lydia’s adoption. It was the only time I saw the woman smile.
I then took Lydia’s pet carrier out of the car, carefully put in on the ground and popped the wire door open. I faced the opening toward a large green lawn where a particularly stunning Peacock was strutting around. I waited. Lydia remained in the carrier. I waited some more. I started to talk quietly to her, trying to convince her to come out into her new world. I sat on the grass beside her and waited some more. As I sat, I began to notice the menagerie that is Petersen’s Rock Garden… and the Peafowl started to emerge from the bushes like the Munchkins emerging in the Wizard of Oz to check out Dorothy.
Lydia finally conceded and stepped out of the carrier like an emerging princess. She ruffled her feathers and looked around. Sure enough, she headed straight for the Peacock…but not too quickly, because, you know, royalty never hurries.
I wondered then, what was going through Lydia’s mind. I wondered what Peahens think about. How they think. What they see. What they feel. I wondered this as Lydia made her way toward the glorious bird that was the spitting image of her deceased lover.
I suppose I’ll never really know what Lydia thought. But, she stopped about 10 feet from the Peacock and turned around to look my way for a few seconds, as if to say “Thank you.” At least that’s what I’m believing…
But, there is one other thing that she could have been looking back at. When Lydia left the carrier she left behind… one last infertile egg. Maybe she was wondering about that. Whatever was on her mind, she turned back around and made her way to the awaiting Pea King…