The Vixen and the Utica Pea Fowl

3 09 2014

Did you know pea fowl was even a thing? I saw it on a sign. Really.

The kids are big fans of the zoo. We’ve taken them on more than one occasion. We’ve even gone to more than one zoo.

Accidentally.

So far the one we favor is the Rosamond Gifford zoo in Syracuse, NY. (Which I like to pronounce wrong. If you tweak the ending just a little bit it sounds kind of like Arrakis! Two Dune reference in a week, BOOM!) It’s a lovely place; lots of animals, well maintained, inexpensive. The kids love it to death and the Vixen and I get a kick out of it ourselves, especially around the eagles with which the Vixen seems to have a special connection.

I’m pretty sure that she would take one home with her given the opportunity.

So what other zoos have we been to? I’m glad you asked.

The answer is the Utica zoo in the city of the same name. When we went there we went by accident even. Somehow the Vixen and I were both convinced that the zoo in Utica was the zoo from Syracuse and apparently forgot that we had even been to Syracuse in the first place. It’s like we had strokes.

So here we are stumbling around this zoo wondering why the hell everything looks so much different. We tried to reason that we came in a different gate than last time. We theorized that perhaps the renovations the zoo had been talking about on our last trip were just really quite extreme. When we had reached the end of the grounds and by using some quick google-fu we realized that we made a hysterical error and went to the wrong city.

These two places aren’t even close to being on the same level, I don’t know what the hell was wrong with us. Anyways, this is where the formal battle against nature first began.

We had just finished scoping out the monkeys which stood at the top of a hill where the gate was and decided that we would start heading downward toward whatever awaited us there. We had never been so we had no idea. Turns out the answer was a mouthy damn bird.

There was a point at which several paths intersected, several cages coming to a sort of crossroads clustered around a shed. Now it was my understanding that normally the animals are supposed to be inside some sort of fenced area or cage or something. Well, on top of the roof of that shed was a peacock. Soon as he saw us he started in with that ridiculous noise they make. It’s hard to reproduce but I think I have a decent impression down.

It goes something like this: Ur RuuuUUUUURRR!

Normally I wouldn’t think much of it but this bird was different. We had encountered peacocks at the Rosamond Gifford zoo and they were relaxed. This bird was all full or rage and angst man and he was telling the Vixen all about it.

Not wanting to perform a Pearl Harbor reenactment with this damn bird playing the role of the Japanese we took off for other parts of the zoo. Every time we started heading back that way though, even remotely close to toward the bird, it would go off. It was almost as if the peacock could sense my wife. Like he was seeing the chi of his enemy travel about the part, letting out braying war cries as the aura drew nearer.

That was the wake-up call. The moment of truth. The day the Vixen knew she would have to rise to the occasion and meet these animals head on.

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