Sunday, June 29, 2008


Hector’s sense of solidarity with other species of bird life has been boosted by the sad tale of Percy the peacock, who after three years of allowing the 500-odd humans of the English village of Martin to wander unmolested and with their customary aimlessness within cooee of his digs, is to be ‘rounded up’ for bad behaviour.

Hec gleaned this information from his assiduous browsing of the virtual pages of the ‘Expat Telegraph’, the cybersheet produced by the London newspaper The Daily Telegraph, a publication that seems determinedly dedicated to keeping alive the traditions of eccentric Englishness.

It seems Percy’s human neighbours were OK with him while he was single and he was a “local character”. But when he collected a mate last year and thereafter fathered a selection of hatchlings, things are said to have gone downhill. They claim Percy and the boys began attacking scores of cars, not to mention pinching parsley, runner beans and sundry other consumables from people’s gardens (a shocking crime!), and waking everyone up with a frightful racket at about four in the morning.

What first drew Hec’s attention to Percy’s predicament, beyond the fact that he could perhaps spend a useful short holiday here in Bali training up the local chooks on how to stick with a schedule for racket-making, was the fact that his home territory is Lincolnshire, a bucolic county in eastern England that by coincidence houses Hector’s own Head of Flock.

As well, he has significant sympathy for Percy’s predicament. He remembers – well, just – several instances of playful vandalism that he committed himself in former times. He is proud of his youthful service in A (Amuck) Company, the First Battalion, The Hues and Cries (Motto: Last In, Your Shout), for which he received the Unbecoming Conduct Medal and Bar (or quite possibly, Bars) and a commendation for exemplary misbehaviour.

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