Showing posts from November, 2019

Peacocks, Vanity, and the Possibility of Redemption

Flannery O'Connor and her peacocks “Vain as a peacock,” we used to say, back when vanity was a vice rare enough to be remarked on. If you've never lived with a peacock, you may not realize just how vain they can be. I had a chance to become acquainted  with these creatures when I was in college in northern Illinois and occasionally stayed on the farm of my Aunt June who, like Flannery O’Connor (probably their only similarity), loved all sorts of barnyard fowl, including peafowl. June lived on the family farm she had inherited with her brother, Reynolds. He looked after the hog farming while June stayed busy breeding, raising, and selling all sorts of birds and bird eggs: chickens, ducks, and geese, as well as more exotic kinds of birds, such as peacock and rheas (a South American cousin of the better-known ostrich). I soon noticed that each of these bird species has its own native personality; you couldn't act around a goose the same way you could with a duck, for instanc