Kevin, Kenny, and Nicholas Cage

We had missed our flight.

What a way to start the first day of camp, eh? Arriving at 10pm in the dark gives a great first impression.

I had pulled an all-nighter as our flight was at 4am, which was a very stupid thing to do. I felt like death while waiting for the next plane to fly.

I was grumpy. I’m sure my little brother was too.

The car ride was awkward because everyone but my little brother and the driver was asleep.

I remember waking up and groggily stepping out of the car. The first thing I remember from the camp was a startling loud cry of a very, very familiar bird.

It was a peacock call.

All over camp, wandering freely, were peacocks. I was told that the peacocks roaming the main part of camp were called Kevin and the ones that stayed near the Animal Area were called Nicholas Cage.

During nighttime Kevin would hop up waaay up there in a pine tree, startling children walking underneath whenever they make a nighttime call. I had made a little game out of it; trying to find Kevin whenever he was in a tree. He was usually camouflaged too well among the branches and leaves but sometimes I would see the little jitter of his tail feathers.

The Animal Area was what it was called: an area for the animals of the camp. What we called the “Bird Aviary” housed many different species of birds: peacocks, pigeons, silkie chickens, and a lionhead rabbit.

The most valuable peacock we had was a half albino, half normal peacock, and he was settled in the Aviary. Prince Charming and his Princess, two albinos, were also in the Aviary.

When I was in China I grew up hearing the calls of peacocks day and night.

Most people wouldn’t expect there to be peacocks in China but for some reason there was a hotel that had peacocks in it.

Being at camp and hearing Kevin and Nicholas Cage cawing all the time brought a slight feeling of nostalgia.

After my five out of six weeks of camp was up I was told that the peacocks were actually called Kenny.

Why had nobody told me this earlier?

I had been calling them the wrong name for five weeks? But even the counselors called them Kevin!

I still call the peacocks Kevin. Old habits die hard.


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