Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Like Patrons at a Diner"

This morning when I went out to feed the peafowl I saw that their water container was frozen over. Not too surprising given the fact that last night temperatures dipped into the mid-twenties. I filled another container and, after a while, noticed that the birds were lined up at it waiting to get a drink. Their behavior made me recall a funny story from one of O'Connor's letters where she describes what happened when her mother bought a creeper-feeder for the calves. Apparently, the calves wouldn't have anything to do with it. Not so the peachickens. One day when Regina O'Connor went out to look at the feeder she saw Flannery's birds "lined up at it like patrons at a diner." (The Habit of Being p. 528) Understandably, Mrs. O'Connor was irritated when she discovered that the peafowl consumed $17.50 worth of calf feed. When it was furthermore observed that Flannery's geese had "been at it too," the author was obliged to reimburse her mother for the loss. Our peafowl have been eating heartily, too. It seems the colder it gets the more they fortify themselves with the special game bird mix they are fed daily. Their plumage is also getting thicker to protect them from this unseasonable arctic blast we're having. As I write, however, the birds are indolently soaking up the afternoon sun atop their perches getting ready for another cold one tonight.
- Mark

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