Old Mr Halloran in The Sundial would never keep peacocks because he said they were “feeble-minded”. This seems a bit unfair to Gert. Isn’t it enough to be spectacular? Do peacocks also have to be able to do mental arithmetic, argue economic theory and analyse a Mozart symphony? Do they have to be sparkling conversationalists? Do they need to have read (really read, even the boring bits) War and Peace? Do they need to have a cool head in an emergency? Do they need to have made prudent financial provision for old age?
Unfair! as Donald Trump would say. W.B. Yeats had the right slant on peacocks when he wrote of gardens where the peacock strays/with delicate feet upon old terraces. That’s a peacock’s job, in a nutshell. And no one else can do it. Would you rather have an accountant straying with delicate feet upon your terraces?