As a domesticated human, screaming relentlessly every day sounds to me like an appropriate reaction to the current state of the world, which is why I cannot fault a certain feral peacock who has been accused of doing exactly that for engaging in a little daily shrieking.
The peacock in question has apparently taken up residence in an Oakland neighborhood in recent months, where he has attracted both fans and enemies, according to a recent report from SF Gate.
“For the past 15 weeks or so he has screamed relentlessly, every day,” wrote one anti-peacock neighbor on the social networking app Nextdoor.
The City of Oakland reportedly sent an Animal Control Officer to investigate after receiving a noise complaint about the peacock, but ultimately no action was taken. Meanwhile, various neighbors have since come forward to voice their support for the animal, who seems to go by a number of names including Paco, Peter, Pierre, Abraham and Bruce.
“It is nice to have a voice of nature to counterbalance the cars and fireworks,” wrote one pro-peacock supporter on Nextdoor. “We have also been enjoying seeing the families with strollers and kids passing by on the way to see Peter.”
Another peacock ally wrote that she visits the peacock with her son “several times a week,” adding that she looks to the bird as “a stable symbol in my life that things are still normal for some.”
Unfortunately, peacock expert Dennis Fett told SF Gate that if the peacock is indeed shrieking, it’s a sign that things are not, in fact, normal at all.
“They should count their blessings that the peacock is making noise at night because that means somebody, animal or human, is doing something that’s not in the normal sense of the environment,” said Fett.
While I am sympathetic to the plight of the Nextdoor plaintiff who accused the peacock of screaming on a daily basis, I think we can all agree that relentless shrieking is a perfectly normal response to wildly abnormal circumstances. If I were a feral peacock living through a pandemic, I too would scream relentlessly.
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