Once upon a time on Three Roods Farm, pheasants were seen at a distance if at all. That changed this year.
It started in summer. Several of us saw a large, mottled ground bird dart in and around the main garden. We thought her to be a female grouse. Sightings became more common as the bird was seen in amongst the young hazelnut trees and near the chicken coop. We were confused by the lack of a clear white neck ring and the mottled colors. With hindsight, we know he was a juvenile pheasant.
A few weeks later, Dr Greg was rototilling near the tipi when he heard loud sounds in the woods. A pheasant seemed to be following him, watching him through the trees. Eventually, the bird cut in front of him with more squawks. He pranced around the rototiller making it impossible for Greg to work. Finally Greg got in his truck and the pheasant chased the truck back to the house.
The next day, the same thing happened. Only this time, when the pheasant stood in front of him squawking, Dr Greg got down on his knees and caught the fellow by his legs! I know this is true, because he brought the pheasant to the front garden where I was working and showed him to me. Dr Greg was so proud of his achievement, he had me pluck a long tail feather to put in his hat. He brought the bird back to the woods and released him.
To make a long story short, Greg and the pheasant have met so many times, that Greg has lost track of the number of times he’s caught and released the bird. He says there are 2 birds because they are not the same size. One is big enough to eat – but that is not the plan. Meanwhile, Greg wonders about the deep meaning here. Why are the pheasants so interested in him such that they allow themselves to be caught. Is the pheasant Greg’s spirit animal? What is he trying to say? What do you think?