only on vashon – the weekly rundown 06/03/2021

We’ve been closely following the daring escape of three peacocks, who started their escapade on the South End over the weekend and, according to latest reports, are still heading north. They were spotted at Camp Sealth on Saturday, but then, after a weekend of horseback riding and row-boating, continued on their way. They spent some time corralled in someone’s front yard, until they hopped the fence and moved on to Cemetery Road. Wednesday found them hanging around the south gate of the dump. After carefully sorting their cardboard and glass recyclables, they waddled in the afternoon to the north end of the dump. They were last seen walking along the roadway near Island Center Forest.

So many of us have tried to corral them, either to bring them home or to just say hi, that they’ve become skittish and are avoiding people. Some locals are plotting a nighttime heist to grab the birds when they roost, stuff them in a car, and take them home. (We’ve been informed that this is also a method for catching a wild turkey, fyi.) Hopefully the peacocks  don’t roost too high in a tree. 

Perhaps they are now in town, wearing sunglasses and straw hats, posing as tourists, and getting lost in the crowd. Maybe they’ll stick around long enough to get crowned unofficial mayor. 

Speaking of tourist season, the four-way in town has become a purgatory, where you stand in the hot sun waiting for Subarus and pick-up-trucks to judge you worthy to cross to the other side. This analogy implies that Anu Rana’s and the bookstore are heaven, which I stand behind. Perhaps the peacocks could act as crossing guards. 

Fun fact I learned while googling peacock entrapment: The ancient Greeks considered peacocks a symbol of immortality, and Pythagoras claimed that Homer’s soul had transferred to a peacock when he died. Maybe our wandering peacocks are housing the souls of bards, and that’s what’s motivating them to move. Has anyone tried luring them in with mead and a lute? It’s worth a shot.

Some animal has destroyed the screen on a window. We’ve been speculating what animal could do it, and whether the animal was trying to get in or out. I’m thinking it might be a chicken. They’re never satisfied with the coop, and won’t rest until they can come into your house and lay an egg on your antique wicker vanity. Others say it’s a bird pulling wires to make a sturdy, if uncomfortable, nest. I suspect it’s the peacocks, rushing into a house to avoid detection. 

A 4-inch pet turtle has gone missing, and multiple search parties have spontaneously formed to find her. Peacocks may be hard to catch, so if you want a less challenging pursuit, see if you can get a hold of the missing turtle. It likes to hide in dark places, in hollow logs or unser a curled up fern. So keep your eyes peeled. Even if you don’t find him, you might end up finding a few banana slugs to befriend. 

Finally, have you ever noticed how madrones have eyes, and they’re watching us? A group member pointed this out, and now I see it everywhere. Maybe the trees can keep an eye out for all our lost pets. 

I can kinda see it. But more importantly, it can see me.
Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

1 thought on “only on vashon – the weekly rundown 06/03/2021”

  1. The purgatory at the intersection of Bank Road and Vashon Highway will only be solved by installing a traffic light. This would allow for safe crossings by pedestrians and improve the flow of traffic, which is now blocked by people crossing in ones and twos every which way. If we had a light that responded to traffic volumes and allowed pedestrians to cross diagonally, the flow of vehicles and people would be much more efficient.

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