Out on the front lawn Adam does stretches on a yoga mat before breakfast while listening to language lessons on his PDA. It’s a peaceful scene: lush, green foliage frames a bright blue sky; birds chirp busily in nearby trees. As he works his muscles, he can hear his own breathing. Idyllic, really, until the crazed pheasant showed up.
Feeling the touch of something on his foot, Adam recoils his leg instinctively, like people do when they live in areas where centipedes and roaches see the human body as just another pathway to food. He swings around, half expecting to see a giant centipede, and comes face-to-beak with a purple-headed bird wearing what appears to be a pair of red goggles.
Birds typically scare at the sight of people and sqwak away. Not this bird. It stares right back at Adam for a good long time, tipping its head to the side as if the get a better look at him. The rooster starts to peck at Adam’s arm, pecking toward his hand. Pecking doesn’t hurt much, but it’s not comfortable either. Adam waves his hand, and the rooster retreats–a few feet at first, and after a couple more minutes of staring at Adam, the bird walks deep into the bushes.
After lunch we are back at work, tapping away on our laptops. Deep in thought, I am interrupted by a knock at the side door. I look up and don’t see anyone standing there. I’m not expecting anyone so I get up to investigate. It’s the bird, staring at us through the screen.
It’s been over a week now and the bird hangs around every day. Adam holds and cuddles him, like a kitten or puppy. As we become more attached to this bold bundle of feathers, we worry that someone somwhere misses a prize foul. Worse still, we worry about people who raise pheasants for their feathers to make hats and accesories and that an angry hat-maker will come running into our driveway in search of this missing cash machine. Until then, we are watching, waiting and playing with our new foul friend.