Pete the Peacock is believed to have blown into Pecan Plantation by way of the twister that struck Hood County in May 2013.
The F-4 tornado claimed six lives, but somehow Pete survived.
Over time the colorful bird came to roost in the hearts of many who live on or near Kingsley Court, an area where Pete found refuge in homeowners’ trees and yards.
But Pete’s luck ran out last Saturday when he attempted to cross busy Westover Drive one too many times.
One of his biggest fans, Brenda Constantine, believes that Pete was likely crossing the road at dusk to bed down near dogs he liked to visit, who live in a pen outside their owners’ home.
Pete wasn’t technically a pet, but he was beloved by many and considered the neighborhood mascot, Constantine said.
She said that she and others are hoping to bury Pete at the front traffic circle if security hasn’t already disposed of his remains, and to put a plaque and photo there in his memory.
Eric Olson said that he and some of his neighbors have peacock statuaries in their gardens because of Pete’s influence. He said that the bird would often proudly display his plumage.
Pete’s death “is the passing of an iconic creature,” he said. “It’s just tragic. Pete survived everything except, apparently, a careless driver.”
Constantine stated, “We all just admired his strength. He stayed safe from all the weather and people trying to shoo him out of their yard, hitting him with rakes. He had dogs turned out on him. People had to get to know him. After awhile, most people would warm up to him.”
Olson said the bird could be “a little antagonistic toward people, but I think he was just curious and I think a little lonely, which was kind of sad.”
Over the years, Constantine collected some of Pete’s brilliantly colored feathers and now has a memorial of sorts by way of a vase in her office.
She said she recently delighted her 14-year-old granddaughter by mailing her some of Pete’s feathers along with a birthday present. Her granddaughter said that it was Pete’s feathers she loved the most.
Constantine said that neighbors would post messages online about their sightings of Pete, or about photos they took of him or food they fed him.
When news spread of his demise, fans posted messages about their memories and their sadness over his fate.
“Heartbroken! He just visited us Friday,” David Leaver-ton posted.
“This makes me so sad! A lost treasure for Pecan!!!” was the message from Karen Gomez.
Now all that remains of Pete are memories, colorful photos and Constantine’s vase full of feathers.
“He would stay on our front porch, spend some nights out there,” Constantine reminisced. “And there would be poo-poo all over our front porch, but that was fine with us. We knew he was alive and kicking.”
email@example.com | 817-573-7066, ext. 258