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The Death of the Peahen


Sad news. The peahen is no more. I won’t go into the detail or any Monty Pythonesque parrot jokes but safe to say what we thought was her lolling in the autumnal heat on the side of the road wasn’t.

The children were upset but have rallied quickly at the thought of the task ahead. You may recall in an earlier missive that they rather like burying dead things. And it’s a rule I have that anything they do bury is most definitely not alive. In this instance the dead thing is the largest they have ever had to consider disposing of. So they debated long and hard. Standing around her, small thoughtful heads bowed, stopping the odd car through the village to discuss the passing of and the final resting place of the big bird. Before they could dig up the only flower bed I have reserved for floral beauty I called my neighbour to inform her of her peahen’s fate. In as sympathetic and respectful manner as possible. Whilst also making it clear that she would need to shift it pdq before the children stuffed it and mounted it on the gate post. Idea 4 on their list of suggestions. But still better than Idea 6 that involved some sort of camp fire stew and head dresses from feathers. I also had B&B guests arriving imminently and the altar that had been hastily but lovingly erected by the 3 was blocking the parking space. I didn’t want them unwittingly stumbling into a bird burial ritual or have to hear the Curly One’s Last Post on the toy trumpet. Whilst the children aren’t standing guard (distracted by TV) the neighbour has just quad biked down and popped the bird in the back of the trailer. With a frankly disrespectful cheery wave she sped off claiming it wasn’t one of her favourite pea hens anyway. And I thought she may have said over her shoulder something about chucking it in a hedge on her way home… but I am sure I was mistaken? Just in case I am not going to let the children forage for blackberries for the next few days…  

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