The Marriage of Figaro

Figaro, our 5-year-old white peacock, is no longer a bachelor.

I have been in search of a mate for him since last October when his gal, Jewel, disappeared after having been here for 4 years.  I combed the state of Vermont through my connections with the Vermont Bird Fanciers, through my past peafowl connections, putting out the want-ad a dozen different ways through media of all sorts.

In the past week, through the United Peafowl Association, I was finally successful in finding a mail-order bride for my guy.

A beautiful farm in E. Bridgewater, Massachusetts, a mere 3-hour, 45-minute drive away, had not one, but two white peahens. Because a peacock would naturally entertain a harem, we decided that since it’d been such a search to find a suitable bride to begin with, two brides were better than one.  True to our farm’s namesake, this was an 11th hour decision.

It’s my reputation in our household that as far as movie genre goes, mom likes “anything that ends in a wedding.” It didn’t take much prompting to announce, on Friday, a general public invite to a shotgun wedding. At the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, I drove to fetch the brides.

Short back story:  stayed up WAY too late on Friday night making banners and floral corsages for the attendants & musicians, hurried WAY too early Saturday morning to prepare wedding favors & flower girl baskets before departing, then pulled over to blue lights not even 15 minutes into my journey.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  Mr. Officer didn’t flinch when I told him why I was in such a hurry-up hurry to get out-of-town, and then get back, and let me go on my way with a “Good luck with the wedding!  Drive safely!”  

Eight hours later, I arrived back in Shaftsbury, Vermont with two beautiful, white peahens from Rhineland Acres, gussied up their crate with some flowers and then left the brides to Jim to act as “father-of”, while I escorted Figaro to his position at the altar.

Friends scrambled to support, fully embracing this event as though it were William & Kate’s nuptials. The dress-code was “Farmyard Flamboyant” and 40 friends & 4 dogs arranged themselves under blue skies in our barn chapel.

My musician consorts provided the string strains of “The Marriage of Figaro” to accompany the brides in their wheel-barrow carriage.  Ellen & Melanie also played the recessional music to conclude the ceremony during the bird-seed toss and champagne toast.

Dear friend Megan , also a Justice of the Peace, officiated and read vows in the brides’ & groom’s honor.  My only request was that we have the dramatic “If there are any objections…” line, for effect.  The pause drew a quick breath from a few parties, fingers crossing that no one would utter a word, and after carefully surveying the crowd, Megan continued to the pronouncement of man and wives. Here is where I emphasize that I could not imagine a more appropriate JOP for this event.

At that point, I allowed Fig to freely walk where he would, unsure if he would notice the two peahens within 3 feet of him or not.  Figaro was a proper gentleman/groom for the vows, but he determined to recess during the dreamy strumming and crooning of “At Last” by Kerry & Peter. 

Some thought that Fig’s departure was akin to getting the hell out of Dodge.

I prefer to think, rather, that Figaro was in the same trance that we all were in, and at that point in the afternoon, he flew off to pinch himself awake.

He & his lovely brides, (O’) Susannah-1 & (O’) Susannah-2, are spending their honeymoon in Stall No. 1 in the beautiful Wing and a Prayer Farm barn.  They dined on a wedding gift of freshly picked watercress & chickpeas(do you get it?) for their first meal together.

From the hand-drawn cards, e-books and banners that our young friends lovingly designed, to the helping hands, the artistic talents, delicious, beautiful treats and generosity from our supportive community, we are grateful to all.    Char & Jim, thanks for having my back, always.

“Hope is the thing with feathers…”  L’Chaiim!

3 responses to “The Marriage of Figaro

  1. OMG … that’s quite a post! How’s a person to read, look at, and watch that one and ever, ever get up the courage to sit down at the keyboard and click in to WordPress again? Joanna and I sat together and watched the entire ceremony, it was wonderful. You are a dedicated bird fancier (and have some pretty talented and wonderful friends). Let it never, ever, be said that that you (your family and friends) didn’t go that extra mile(s) to make even the most mundane event a real ‘event.’ Your efforts will be, I am certain, remembered by all those in attendance … they’ll also give me a good story to pass along when the opportunity presents itself. Nice video too … with nice edits. What are their reproductive lives like? Are the girls old enough to be out? I don’t know much about Peacocks … do they set? In spring? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they got down to business this spring? Thanks for taking the time and for going to all that effort … there are folks out in the cyber-universe who appreciate it. D (and J) PS: I’m amazed.

  2. Hi D & J – thanks for stopping by and also for such kind comments. Pshaw, there’s no needing to worry about producing riveting, interesting posts. I hardly could compete, your blog is beautiful. But I am thrilled you enjoyed the wedding. We’re still all ‘high on happy’ around here.
    Regarding the new ladies and Figaro settling in, and etc., I think it might take a month for them to be comfortable together. Already, this afternoon, I noticed that the honeymoon might be over for O’Susannah-1 as either she & Figaro or she & O’Susannah-2 are not getting on o.k.. She has a battle wound that I’m nursing. Shucks. But I know how to care for poultry and I’ve got this thing.
    The mating season for the Peafowl is April to August. The ladies are only 1 year old. Though Figaro is old enough, the girls are on the young side. It is possible, though, for them to lay fertilized eggs this season and I will probably incubate them if they do. At least, though, Fig has mates now. He was so lonely and I was worried he was going to disappear, looking for someone. Every day he would range farther and farther away, calling. And so I knew he needed a reason to stay here on the farm. And now he’s got two good reasons to stay here!
    I’m not good about not counting-before-they-hatch, maybe we can say, safely, that next year there will be peafowl for sale?
    My friends in this community are amazing, wow, all those talents and giving souls supporting my grown-up tea-party ideas!

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