The sad tale of the lone peahen

June 2005

The peahen has at last been caught after umpteen failed attempts and endless cunning plans. Priscilla, as she came to be known, came to live at Point Cottage in the late summer of 2004 when she and her then partner left the Old Manse more than two miles away. Partner eventually went back but Priscilla stayed, lodging on Morag and Richard Fowler’s doorstep seemingly captivated by her image in the glass door. Through the winter, compassion compelled neighbours to feed her as, apart from her fouling of the front door, she remained a quiet guest and relatively trouble free, and a pleaser of passing tourists. She certainly got no trouble from the feral goat about at the time (since deceased) or the two geese who over wintered nearby. Even the neighbourhood cat and dog lived amicably with her. However the thought of another year of Priscilla continuing to foul as well as eating her way through the nascent garden and needing neighbours to feed her, moved Richard to devise a very cunning trap (pictured) and, with the help of mirrors, whisky soaked digestives and a good supply of grapes she eventually went into it long enough for him to pull the rope attached to his armchair which dropped the drawbridge and imprisoned her.

Earlier plans had involved fishing netting spread about the place which caught hedgehogs that had to be painstakingly cut out, and a very grand butterfly net which was supposed to drop on her when pulled but, as she was always aware of it and heard us coming, failed every time. Trawling the internet produced nothing but fox traps and advice that they were almost impossible to catch.

The trap, though, worked beautifully as it could be activated from far enough away. But there still remained the problem of how to get her back to The Old Manse. The neighbourhood cars were all too small but a quick call to Archie MacGillivray soon produced himself, Lamont and his pick up and the job was completed before midnight. As for any fears that Priscilla may either wander back or be pecked to death by the large family of cocks and hens now living at the manse, these were totally unfounded.

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