The Peacock and the Wren

I thought I’d add some variety with a short story today:

The Peacock and the Wren

In the steaming jungles of Kathmandu, a day doesn’t dawn without the piercing wail of its most splendid inhabitant. Shrieking grikishly to rouse the sun, the peacock steps elegantly, spindle-claw poised in jerking gait, nimbly picking its way over mandrake root and rhododendron branch. It has no equal; its beauty unparalleled, its hauteur unshakable. Seldom will a creature approach it. Though flightless it needs no defences, save the armour of its splendour. In the flick of its tail its helpless victims stand immobilised in its Medusa-like thrall.

Small wonder then, that on this most inauspicious, innocuous day, a day of babblers and orioles, Koles and drongos, egrets and floricans, marshmuggers and gharials; our fearless protagonist should find himself confronted. And not just confronted, but affronted, by the most unlikely foe!

Scarcely had he stepped out this fine morning, scarcely had the dense jungle mists yielded to the cauldron heat of a Nepalese dawn than there, on a path strewn with rhino apple and kapok and half hidden in a beautyberry bush, perched a bird so small and drab that the peacock could hardly perceive it. more..


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