The Steam Peacock

Peacock in a station. I know, I know, it’s serious.

Dear old Facebook, forever encouraging us to look at the past, while examining our personal data for future use, today flagged up this photo as being exactly two years old.

As you can clearly see, it’s a peacock, invading rather a lot of personal space, in a railway station. The Steam Railway station in Douglas, Isle of Man, to be precise. As you can’t see, the place was reverberating to the blood-curdling shrieks made by full-size peacocks.

I snapped it while walking through the station, and you may notice, that I didn’t get too close. Up close, and with feathers in full flourish, it was very imposing, taking up a lot of space. No wonder the peahens are so impressed. As a person over six feet tall, I did find it quite trepidatious to be in the confined quarters of a railway station, with a wall of keratin and fake eyes, taller than me, wobbling threateningly in my direction.

I must admit that I did not spend a lot of time composing this picture. I was half-concentrating on finding an escape route that wasn’t blocked by the coin-operated Thomas The Tank Engine ride.

At the time, the peacock was a regular visitor to both the station and the nearby Tesco supermarket, where shoppers would sometimes return to their car to find him snoozing on the roof. With the station also containing a well-regarded restaurant, you could see that the big bird’s choices of hangouts were decided in his belly.

Apparently, the very greedy peacock had escaped from the grounds of a posh house in the Island and found its way to the Railway Station/Tesco neighbourhood.

In the two years that have passed since I took this picture, the fabulously extravagant bird has flown. Back to his grand palatial original home, I assume. Unless anybody’s noticed some plump new steaks in the Exotic Meat section of Tesco. Or particularly swishy feathers zhooshing up the uniforms of Isle of Man Steam Railway employees.

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