The West Cumbrian Peacock Mystery

An emerging theme from the coursework reading focuses on sharpening your senses and awareness.

In the Creative Writing Coursebook, (p.20) Julia Bell states that, “in order to construct vivid, believable narratives a writer needs to develop a sharp eye for details in the world around them, details that are often easy to miss in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”

I have just returned from a break visiting family in the Lake District and thought I would share the following narrative and observations for comment.

Whilst on an early morning walk I encountered a large peacock. This is not an unusual occurrence in the Lake District, except the encounter occurred in a residential area, not a habitat where peacocks are usually found.

As I was walking, the peacock appeared from the driveway of a house, walked alongside me for about 30 seconds, then strutting off into another residential garden.

Later that morning at breakfast I was relaying this story to Mrs.D. and my mother. My mother informed me that this was commonplace as the peacock belonged to a local family and had been around the area for 17 years. The following conversation then took place.

Mrs.D: “Where would you take the peacock if it needed to see a vet?”

Mother: “There’s someone two doors down from us who’s sons a vet.”

Me: “Is the son local?”

Mother: “No, they live down south near you.”

Me: “That’s useful, I’m sure the peacock would enjoy the 300 mile trip especially if it was injured or sick”.

The next morning I awoke to find Mrs. D sat upright in bed. As I turned to wish her good morning, she looked straight at me and said,

“It’s been worrying me all night. How would you get a peacock to the vet? Would you take it on a dog lead, or a sling like they carry swans in?”

“Why don’t you google it” I replied.

“No that would be cheating, maybe I’ll ask your sister.”

The upshot of this is that, whilst the female contingent of the D clan are deeply involved in investigations into peacocks and vet transport, I’m planning future walks to avoid anything fowl related.

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