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What I Have Learned from Peahens by Misha Lyuve

Aug 30, 2011
A peahen is the peacock’s female counterpart – I didn’t know it myself before writing this…


What is essential is invisible to the eye.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “The Little Prince”

peacock, borromeo islands, lake maggiore, is0la bella

Peacocks are arrogant showoffs. First, they will shamelessly have you beg them to open their trains and then they will stand in front of you demanding admiration. On the other hand, if I were that good-looking, I would probably behave the same way – thankfully god spared me.

If they were at least smart, but peacocks are really turkeys with glam. Taking advantage of their good looks, they became a subject of symbolism in different cultures - from good luck to eternal life. That’s a lot to carry. Especially when every fool wants a piece of you, or at least a feather.

And all that is fine, but wouldn’t one expect Mother Nature to be more practical? If the goal is survival, go run and hide with the tail that exceeds your body size. It’s like a supermodel running away from a serial killer in 7-inch heels… One would think that such inconveniences would lead to extinction.

My trip to Borromeo Islands on lake Maggiore in Italy, where peacocks and other exotic birds roam in glorious gardens, spiked these observations and curiosity. My research uncovered that while the whole world is fascinated with peacocks, the real power is in the hands of peahens, though maybe not exactly hands. Procreation happens to be more important than just survival, and it turned out that peahens have really high standards for their mates. So these plain looking creatures are the real source of the beauty. That’s what I call power.

As for the pictures, I was so busy running after peacocks, that I hardly paid attention to peahens.

So what have I learned from peahens? – Sit quietly, unnoticeably, and run the whole freaking show.

peacock, borromeo islands, lake maggiore, isola madre