A Peacock Called Don Juan

Close friends of ours who moved back from London round about the same time we left Sweden recently bought themselves a beautiful house in Hout Bay with a moody mountain view and a handsome resident peacock. Having your own peacock strutting around on the the lawn at braais while all your friends go oh my god and post pics on instagram is fun for a while, but the fabulousness wears thin when, every day at 4am, the peacock takes it upon himself to perch high on a branch in his favourite tree and call out to all the valley that he’s in the mood for love. Especially since he is the only peacock in the whole of the republic and he has to make his voice travel very far to be heard by maiden birds across the miles.

Nobody likes to be woken up day after day by squawking, least of all the anaesthetist neighbor who really can’t afford to be groggy of a morning. So, a meeting of the neighbourhood was called to try to find a solution to the problem of the pining peacock. While words like ketties and shotguns were grumpily uttered, my friends’ next-door-neighbour is a fanatical animal lover and was aghast at the suggestion that any harm should come to this gorgeous creature. Instead, she offered to call in an animal behaviourist who would communicate with the peacock, explain the situation to him and try and reach some kind of compromise which would allow the humans and the bird to live peaceably together.

So, the animal behaviourist contacts Don the peacock (he told her his name, obviously) and they have a chat about this problem and she records his thoughts and feelings in an email which she then shares with all concerned. Unfortunately, as Don ‘tells’ his human co-habitants, he isn’t actually that keen on changing his M.O. He likes living in Hout Bay, he enjoys the human contact and since it’s imperative that he finds love at this stage of his life, he won’t be stopping his mating call anytime soon. Nor moving it to a later time slot because that doesn’t suit his schedule. In other words, tough titties for you. At that, the animal behaviourist explains to him that the consequences might well be dire, but Don takes it on beak and is willing to accept his uncertain fate.

Happily for everyone – especially Don – ketties and shotguns were never needed as, before things reached a head, the lonesome Casanova was relocated to Clovelly where peahens are plentiful, and in the shagging department this dashing fellow is now positively spoilt for choice. The anaesthetist is happy, as I’m sure are his patients, and while Don’s show-offy presence is missed at gatherings, everyone’s getting a good night’s sleep which is rather more important. And it’s just one of those insane stories that wouldn’t happen in too many other parts of the world, but it’s kind of par for the course down here in the wildest of wild wests where you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

The Very Fabulous Don.
Don the peacock


28 thoughts on “A Peacock Called Don Juan

  1. There is no doubt- you make the difference in my day. Never will a day pass when the words on this blog will not make me grin or affect me in some other way.
    You are fab, fab, fab girl

  2. I think that is Big Daddy – my cousin’s former resident peacock in Hout Bay. I think she will be very happy to know that he found a new home, because his maintenance also became a bit expensive in addition to the noise :)

  3. Living in the UK, ( which for us is not easy, eleven months to go and counting before we can come home to CT) your blog gets me through every day.
    You are so funny xxx Keep on please…..

  4. Bwahahahaha! Yoh! But people have money to play with… im also wondering how much the call out fee for the behaviourist was! I mean they could’ve decided to send the peackok away without a consultation! Smh… so funny!

  5. Thanks this is great. I would have liked to listen to the conversation between the animal behaviorist and Don. He/she must be a very talented animal linguist or maybe there is a lingua franca in the animal world akin to English. Anyway happy for Don and his many offspring that is sure to pop along over time.

  6. Love the story, Susan.
    And love the name Don for a peacock,it’s so fitting…. Will never look at a human named Don again without thinking of this feathered friend!
    Gotta Love all that is Cape Town.

  7. My 5 year old daughter is OBSESSED with peacocks!! We visit the world of birds regularly so she can get her fix! I keep telling her they are too noisy to keep as pets, and now I know for sure!

  8. We had ‘Romeo and Juliet’ arrive at our door out of the blue one day. We live in a small coastal holiday village in the Eastern Cape – on the urban (if you can call the village urban) edge with bush all around us. bird life abounds but Peacocks – not so much, so their arrival came as a surprise. We are not complaining though – they are a delight! My Bird Book tells me that PE and EL are the two areas in SA where Peacocks are found on occasion living wild…is Clovelly another Wild Peacock outpost that Robinson’s haven’t heard about yet or a bird park?

  9. I have friends in Clovelly who have up to 20 peacocks in their garden on a weekend when I suppose they all get ejected from the golf course by flying balls, and there are always one or two hanging about during the week. It’s a beautiful sight, though I’m glad not to be there at 4am ! I wonder if Don is one that mooches about their house. Maybe we could get the lady that can talk to them round to see if he is happy and fulfilled now…

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