Pete's Great Escape
It was late July, and Pete's train feathers were slowly falling out, a few at a time. Therefore I made an extra effort to make sure I went to see him everyday to collect any feathers that had been dropped. So on this Friday afternoon I was in his pen, collecting feathers and feeding him some treats when the clouds started getting very dark. I did not want to get wet so I quickly went inside and began to clean the feathers I had gotten. Unfortunately, my little brother did not know that I had come in, and he went looking for me in the pen. He opened the door and walked in, forgetting to close it. Pete saw the opening and flew right out.
When both my brothers started calling me from downstairs, I didn't answer right away. I figured they just wanted me to do something for them and I didn't want to be annoyed. But then Andrew yelled, "Pete's out!" and I was on my feet and running, muttering some words I don't usually say all the way downstairs and outside.
You see, this wouldn't have been a problem except that Pete was not going to just go back in the pen. He barely tolerates me, and he's much worse with everyone else. Plus he can fly, and he had 150 acres to hide in, and that's just if he stayed on our property. Andrew told me he had flew off past our one building so I went looking for him. By now I was practically in hysterics and it had begun to pour, to make matters worse. I told him to tell mom and dad, cause even if I found him, there was no way I would be able to catch him myself.
We searched for about two hours, and all I could find was a feather that had fallen about 5 feet from his pen. I had just about given up on him and was mourning my fifth dead peacock. Polly was quite upset too, and she kept making all kinds of strange calls. Then Pete started to answer. But we still couldn't find him. Finally my mom discovered him walking around in the completely opposite direction from what my brother had told me he went.
Of course he chose to land in a swamp like area around our creek. The weeds were high and thick, and I don't think I've ever been down there before in my life. My dad went down there with me, and we had to beat back weeds that were almost as tall as I am. We finally found him and my dad went to grab him. But he missed, and Pete took off, and flew practically straight up, and then landed high above us in a tree. We were really in trouble now.
My dad tried to get him down, but everything failed. He tried to stand in the loader of the tractor, it was just too short to reach. Finally he actually began to climb the tree, and he had just about reached Pete when Pete flew to a different nearby tree, about 20 feet higher. This tree was unclimbable, so we tried throwing things at the branches around him to scare him down. Well rocks practically hit him and he wouldn't move. We finally had to give up, and hope that since it was almost night, he'd roost in the tree and come down the next morning and head towards his pen where Polly still was calling.
No such luck! Saturday dawned, and there was Pete, still in the exact same spot in the same tree. Of course I, who has no sense of direction whatsoever, did forget which tree he was in and had to ask my brother to help me find it. I kept checking back all day and he hadn't moved from the branch. I left food all around the trunk of the tree hoping he would come down to eat, but he didn't. Saturday night came and went, and I was really getting worried. Pete hadn't eaten for over a day, and I was leaving for vacation later the net day. I wanted to see him back in his pen before I left.
The next day I had to go to Sunday school with my aunt, but when my dad arrived afterwards for church, he had good news. He had caught Pete! Deciding that Pete wasn't going to come back on his own, he told my grandparents, who were coming up that day to take me and my brother to their house, to bring their flounder net. Dad taped that to a 17 feet net, and used it to try to knock Pete out of the tree. At first he just moved from branch to branch, but then he flew to a tree by the very edge of the road. My dad knew that it he went on the other side of the road he would get in the woods and there was no way we could catch him there. He netted him again, and this time he fell, right onto the road. However, he got out of the net on the way down and my father was afraid he would get up and fly away. Luckily he didn't he just sat there, and my dad was able to grab him and take him back home.
Pete recovered from his adventure with no serious repercussions, although I think he is scared to death of my dad now. Polly was a little mad at him for leaving her back at the pen though, because my parents said that they were fighting when my dad put him back in. However that only lasted a day and now everything is back to normal. My little brother has also learned an important lesson, not to EVER leave the door open again!
This page last modified on Sunday, June 9th, 2002