The pheasant

Grander than a chicken

Toc, toc, toc. I peel one eye open.


Toc, toc. I close it again.


The house we're in is made out of wood and we're close to the sea. So perhaps this indeterminable noise might be somehow connected to either or both. I exhale and peek up at the slated ceiling. Someone will make coffee soon. Usually not me.


Toc, toc.


It can't be hale. There is no hale in Denmark at this time of year, is there? It sounds like hale though.


I feel around in my bed and move a bit. The curtain we put up to separate the open living space from my bed allows some early light shine through. The mornings are beautiful here. But I don't want to get up yet. I feel around the softness. No warm body beside me and I sigh. I do think of him. And even if -


Toc, toc, toc.

Photo by Mel Piper
Photo by Mel Piper

Right, what is going on? With a mix of gratefulness and agitation for the noise having interrupted my thoughts I rise to investigate. Slide down to the foot end of my alcove and there the animal presents himself.


A pheasant of sizeable proportions. With a beautiful coat of feathers, an upright and stern demeanour and looking nothing like a chicken.


Toc. Aha!


He puts his beak to the window pane, knocking to see who is in. Inquiring perhaps about food. This, after all, is his house. We read about the pheasant living here, and there he is. He notices my moving around inside and his stern demeanour takes on an air of shock. He stalks away from the window, in flight mode. Not too pleased to see a human emerge from behind the curtain. 


The pheasant seems to seize me up as he looks over his shoulder, checking to see if I am any sort of threat to him. My wobbly walk and tousled hair allow for his risk assessment to conclude with a low rating - This human is not going to shoot him.


So my feathered alarm clock puts on his best walk to cross the patio. Cocking his head only slightly to make sure I know that he is so much grander and more pleasing on the eye than any chicken could ever be. Toc.