September 23rd, 1997. I’m 5 years old, visiting a small, local zoo in my coastal hometown. It’s a beautiful morning: fall has started to roll in, so the air is calm and cool, with a slight breeze in the air. The sun shines brightly in the sky, it’s warmth caressing my skin. Everything was right in the world, and I was about to see some BADASS animals! Gorillas, zebras, lions — the mind boggled at the wonders I was about to experience.
Yet that is not how this story goes. No, this anecdote of innocence and discovery is about to take a dark and irreversible turn. The subsequent experience will have far-reaching consequences that continue to affect my life to this very day. For those faint of heart, I would suggest leaving this post behind to read about kittens or learn Martha Stewart’s thoughts about pet clothing and accessories (there’s a fantastic bit about diamond dog necklaces that you CANNOT miss).
For those brave enough to stick around, I commend you for your courage… or, is it stupidity? Because this story covers one of the most fearsome creatures in the animal kingdom. An animal of such brutality and gut-wrenching fear, it haunts the nightmares of children and adults alike.
I am speaking, of course, of the peacock.
Yes, the peacock, more generally known as peafowl (which is significantly less intimidating, so we’ll stick with the former). This is an animal of deception, using its intelligence and cunning to fool its victims into believing it is an innocent, dumb bird. That’s what I thought on that fateful September morning. The day everything changed.
As I walked into the zoo, I saw these birds all over the grounds. Pecking around, shrieking out, they were off-putting to say the least. As a sane human being, they freaked me out — even in my youth I could sense their evil. But my parents reassured me, “they’re just stupid birds. They can’t even hurt you, and they’re actually kinda pretty.”
So I let my guard down, opening myself up to the potential that these creepy blue turkeys had some redeemable qualities. We walked into the zoo, and one of the first things I saw was a large cage with a very big peacock inside. We walked over, staring at the bird from a distance. It walked closer to our side of the cage, and I resisted the urge to run as every atom in my body screamed out in terror. I reflected on my parents words, and I convinced myself that they were right, that I had nothing to worry about.
As soon as I became comfortable with the animal, the instant I accepted it, that peacock, that son of a bitch, turned around and unfurled its god-forsaken feathers. The world around me disappeared, leaving nothing but lifeless eyes staring back at me.
I burst into tears, wailing as the peacock pranced around, obviously proud of making a small child cry. My parents tried to understand why I was so upset, but they didn’t get it. They didn’t see the eyes the way I did. Those eyes…
Were they from the souls the peacock had stolen over the years? Were they picked clean from the peacock’s victims, carried around as a sick kind of trophy? I didn’t know, nor did I want to. I just wanted to leave that zoo and never see those monsters again. I knew, with every fiber of my being, that peacocks were the spawn of the devil and should be avoided at all costs.
Need more convincing? Check out these horrifying and totally legit peacock facts:
- Peacocks use their feathers as a way of attracting mates. Take a moment to think about the implications of that sentence. Other peacocks get off at the sight of these tail feathers. Which really means they get off at the sight of other’s suffering, particularly the suffering of small children. That’s not just perverted; that’s sick.
- Peacocks can fly. That’s right. Despite the fact that their soul-sucking tails take up 60% of their body, peacocks can still lift themselves into the air, giving them the perfect vantage point to strike you from behind when you least expect it.
- Peacocks are deceptive as fuck. First off, they use their evolutionary background as birds to convince you they’re dumb as dirt. Second, they use their bright colors to lull you into a false sense of security. Third, they use their odd body shape to make you think they can’t fly. Hell, they can even FAKE HAVING SEX, using this trickery to convince females that they get a lot of action. I’ll say that again: these birds can fake copulation so they can actually get laid.
As I’ve grown older I’ve been able to control my peacock fear, but it is always lurking, ready to incapacitate me at any moment. Peacock awareness is severely lacking in our country, so this is my Peacock Public Service Announcement (PPSA™). I beg you to heed my warning, for your life, and the life of your loved ones, could depend on it.