The Unfortunate Tale of Pico the Peacock

I didn’t really know him.

“The peacock does most of his serious strutting in the spring and summer when he has a full tail to do it with. Usually he begins shortly after breakfast, struts for several hours, desists in the heat of the day, and begins again in the late afternoon.”

Flannery O’Connor, “The King of the Birds”

I spotted Pico back in March. He was one magnificent bird dressed in emerald green and royal blue, turquoise and purple. All alone in the world.

I knew nothing about him, but I wanted to. Was he a pet? Did he escape? Did he have a name? I’ll never know. Months before that first encounter, my friend and neighbor Stan had mentioned peacocks in the neighborhood. Then sure enough, I spotted him outside my bedroom window, scrambled for my shoes, and grabbed my phone for documentation.

Pico, March 12, 2022, 8:26 AM

Later at school, I told my students about our neighborhood peacock. They said Houston was known for peacock populations. Who knew? I Googled their claim, and it’s true. This one seemed to be a loner. I spotted him a second time. And a third. And a fourth. I snapped more photos, shot some videos, and admired him from afar. I was smitten. Only once did he speak. Was it a cry? I backed away.  

Pico, March 23, 2022, 6:23 PM
Pico, March 26, 2022, 8:43 AM
Pico, March 27, 2022, 8:30 AM

“At night these calls take on a minor key and the air for miles around is charged with them.”

Flannery O’Connor, “The King of the Birds”

Once you hear a peacock’s voice, you’ll recognize it whether you see him or not. But the calls stopped.

He was gorgeous. No reason to die.

Stan told my husband that someone ran the peacock down in cold blood. Vehicular homicide. I don’t know how Stan knew. I want to believe it’s not true. How could anyone be so cruel? So sadistic? I’ll never know.

My heart reeled at the news. He deserved better. At least, a name. So, I named him Pico. In my mind, he flew in from Puerto Rico. RIP, you handsome King of the Birds.

54 thoughts on “The Unfortunate Tale of Pico the Peacock

    1. Reading articles this morning…some came from a restaurant that closed…Some came from a person who lived on ten acres in West Houston…There’s a breeder in Conroe. I was here for nearly six years without knowing.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. I’ve only seen a peacock in the zoo. What a beautiful bird! I saddened to learn that someone ended Pico’s life. We humans destroy their natural habitats, and then we kill them in what appears to be a solitary journey to find a mate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, Crystal, I lament losing a jewel. Our world is just a little drabber in Pico’s absence. Particularly in the unseeing malevolence which hacked him from his home.

    Also similar to you, I wonder how Stan knows so many details. Did he witness the violence? Worse yet, does he know the person who did this? What a miserable thing for someone to do. I’m naive, but I’d like to think this will weigh down the evildoer’s conscience forever.

    Speaking of forever, your pictures have granted Pico immortality. Your memories and others’ who also wished him well, will sustain Pico iridescence eternally in your recollections.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It makes sense, and it also is slightly less traumatic this way. Plus, the neighborhood association remembering Pico proves his vibrant spirit infused many lives. He lives on in local legend. For that matter, thanks to your post, there have been Pico sightings all over the world. Who knows where he’ll visit next?


  3. They are gorgeous birds! I remember one roaming my childhood neighborhood. Seemed so odd, but I loved collecting its beautiful feathers. A sad ending to the one you have shared. 😢


  4. So horrible! I love peacock. My grandfather used to have them at his house and as a child I would feed them and collect their feathers. Such a sad story, Crystal… you should have a warning ⚠️ May be depressing! Just kidding, love you. 💛Peacock murderers, not so much! 😡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about a title that might prepare the reader and then went the opposite route. And you have a personal connection, which probably makes this post even more depressing. If I could hug you, I would, Collette! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t want to believe that’s true. Too sad. How could anyone be so heartless? We had a peacock in a neighborhood where we used to stay in Florida. I snapped several photos of it too. They’re so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing!!.. liked the photos and videos!.. sad his life had to end in such a manner but Pico had furnished happiness and brightness for everyone during his stay… Pico will remain a memory forever…. 🙂

    Have a great weekend and until we meet again…
    May the road rise to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    The rains fall soft upon your fields
    May green be the grass you walk on
    May blue be the skies above you
    May pure be the joys that surround you
    May true be the hearts that love you.
    (Irish Saying)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s