That Very Moment

Story Shared by: Terence Smith, Raynham, MA

My wife still has not forgiven me for my actions that warm June afternoon. I had already been pushing the limits of our very new marriage; I had recently been the recipient of a small rescue dog named Kelly. Little did I realize that my wife was strictly a cat person, but in the interests of strengthening our relationship, she had mostly kept this fact under wraps. So we had hired a dog trainer and I had recently purchased a lead (which was simply a small iron stake I twisted into the dirt which then connected to a metal leash). That lead, though, most likely saved a life.

I fired up the grill and let Kelly roam around the yard for a few minutes. Before bringing out the raw food, I attached Kelly’s collar to the lead and made sure all was secure and at the correct length before I continued my barbeque endeavors. Kelly was sitting about 6 feet away from me, the grill was turning hot, and then it happened, something that has never again occurred in my life.

A peacock jumped(!) from around the corner of my house with wings extended and full plumage on display! I was stunned. The peacock stared at me. I stared at the bird. My dog stared wide-eyed at the massive bird towering over her. The three of us froze momentarily; a shocked man, a confused bird, and a bewildered dog. Fully extended this bird was three times my width and almost as tall as me, barely 3 feet away. And then it bocked at me. I have never heard a peacock make any noise aside from a short yell at Winslow Farms, yet here it stood, full crown on it’s head, making a ‘bock, bock, bock’ noise at me.

It slowly started to fold up when it realized it was bocking up the wrong tree and walked towards the fence in the back of my yard. Kelly was ready for the chase but firmly connected to the lead. I opened the sliding door and screamed for my wife, “Babe get the camera! Quick! There is a peacock in the yard!”

“What???” My wife replied as she came to the door.

“Quick a camera a camera!” I replied, sending her back into the house, as the peacock completed folded itself into a third of it’s original size and started to run(!) along my fence.

“I can’t find a camera!”

The peacock completed the perimeter of my yard and was about to make it to the street.

“Where is it??” My wife yelled.

“On the street!”

By now I had jogged after the bird, only to witness it begin to SPRINT down my street and out of my sight.

“I barely saw that it because you were yelling for a camera!” My wife admonished me when I returned.

“Oh…shoot… sorry babes….”

The furious look in my wife’s eyes left no doubt I would not live this down for a while. Kelly was more forgiving after a few belly rubs and a treat. Unfortunately a hard lesson was learned- pictures might last forever, but experience with a loved one, regardless of capturing a point in time, THE MOMENT with a loved one, is not only more important but more valuable in life. So be there with the ones you love, 100 percent, or you might bock up a moment that you can never replicate.

I shudder to think what might have occurred if Kelly was not on that lead. My wife’s anger took much longer to abate, but I have spent a small lifetime trying to make up for my pushy action. I have tried to fill up that empty space with whale watches and foreign travel and other activities. But as I sit in my house with my larger family during this quarantined time, I remember that experience is better than pictures. Posing for a shot is one thing, but sharing an unforgettable moment should always take precedence .