Mercury laid her 12th egg today! I don’t know why I feel so proud of her, but I do. All but the 2nd or 3rd egg have been tiny & I think that larger one might be a double yolk egg. I was planning on blowing out all 12 of these eggs so I could decorate & keep the shells as momentos of my 1st hatchling, but I might crack that one open to see if it really is a double yolk. If I can get the OvaScope to show what’s inside it, that’d be ideal.

The other thing that happened this morning (besides Damien still being there), was Damien displaying his baby train for the hens & the hens being crowded in a corner with a look of “WTF IS HAPPENING” about them. These aren’t the best pictures because I was filling up waterers when I noticed he was doing it & I didn’t want to spook him before I got at least one picture. He was trying really hard to impress everyone, but the minute he heard me near the yard, he closed down & hustled out of the main pen. So, this gives me a theory that maybe he’s confused about mating since August is the end of the peafowl mating season & I have 6 hens that are of mating age & 3 heading there soon. This is kind of understandable since he’s maybe a year old, just a baby by peafowl standards really, & he’s probably only ever been around various chicken flocks for however long he’s been travelling. I also think that he’s lonely. Birds need a flock, just like horses need a herd & dogs need a pack. A solitary of any of those is going to make its group out of whatever it can.

I want him to stay, but I don’t want him to be the only peafowl in a flock of chickens. He can’t be a part of that flock beyond free ranging with them. So, I’m really hoping that my parents are okay with him staying & my getting him at least one peahen. For better or worse, he landed here & I’m not going to not try to make sure he thrives. I can’t not try to take care of him. That’s not the kind of person I am. I’m not going to be my “good Christian” neighbours & starve him out & hope he either dies or goes to someone else’s property. I didn’t do that with Odysseus, I didn’t do that with Arya & I didn’t do that with Toki, I’m sure as hell not going to start now. I don’t know how I’m going to afford the materials I’ll need to build Damien’s coop (because he’ll need one if he’s here for the winter) since it needs to be bigger than the Big House to accommodate not just the size of the birds but his growing train (that’s the long feathers with the eye pattern). It’s my responsibility to take care of him the best I can, so if I have to skip lunches, buying comic books, geek stuff, video games, movies, even possible surgeries for my mouth, I’ll do do it. I can live with the lower half of my face being numb to tactile sensations & full of nerve pain 24/7. I did it for a year already. Damien won’t survive our winters without shelter & heat. I mean, that’s a pretty easy choice for me.

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