|Photo By: Rob Atherton|
When I was a youngster, my Mom would take me to a petting zoo. For a nickel we could buy a handful of corn to feed the goats, llamas and ponies. But I was much more interested in the feathers I found on the ground. PEACOCK feathers!
The colors on these feathers sparkled in the sun, and I was truly AMUSED!
Boys, girls, cocks, hens, and chicks… We’ve found our MUSE!
|Peahen (Female) Photo By: Hafiz Issadeen|
That’s right, PEAFOWL. Peacocks are only the males. They are the ones with stunning feathers. Peahens are the females. And peachicks are the babies. Take a look at the photographs of each and notice their color differences.
Peafowl are native to Asia. In fact, the peacock is India’s national bird. Do you know what our national bird is (USA)?
That’s right, the Bald Eagle!
Today, peacocks can be found all over the world. This is probably because they are relatively easy to take care of, and they are so BEATIFUL!
Take a look at this video to see a peacock fan his plumage.
Amazing, huh? There are a few reasons peacocks display their feathers like this. First, it attracts the ladies (wink). Secondly, those eyes on the peacock’s feathers can scare away predators. And finally, when a peacock fans his feathers, he can hear things better. Have you ever cupped your hand behind your ear so that YOU can hear things better? It works the same way.
Peacocks molt or shed their feathers in the fall. On a peafowl farm, this is when farmers harvest the feathers to sell. Yes, there are indeed peafowl farms. Follow this link to a farm in Minden, Iowa!
Since we are on the topic of diet, let’s discuss what peafowl eat. Since they are omnivores, they will eat both plants and animals. This includes grass, seeds, flower blooms, insects, small reptiles and small amphibians.
|Peachic, Photo By: Adrian Scottow|
And you might be quite surprised that these birds roost high in the trees. With so many feathers, I thought it would be hard for peafowl (especially the males) to carry such weight during flight. While peafowl roost in trees, they build their nests on the ground. A peahen will raise up to six peachicks a year.
|Oshun, The Yoruba Goddess of Love|
And if you have ever watched television, I am sure you have seen the NBC logo. Look closely and you will find… a peacock.
|White peacock, Photo By: Erik Kilby|
With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.
WHAT IF your main character woke up one morning and found a white peacock roosting on his/her windowsill?
WHAT IF you wrote a story about a peacock party (celebration)?
WHAT IF your main character lived on a peafowl farm?
What if somebody was trying to steal the peacocks’ feather before fall?
The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.
So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.
The word of the day is “roost”. Here is the definition: a perch upon which birds or fowls rest at night.