The Peacock

Astor and Mrs. Shortley

The peacock was Flannery’s favorite kind of bird and over time it became associated with her writing. In her essay The King of the Birds, Flannery wrote “Many people, I have found, are congenitally unable to appreciate the sight of a peacock. Once or twice I have been asked what the peacock is “good for”—a question which gets no answer from me because it deserves none” (Mystery & Manners, O’Connor 10). We have two peafowl here at Andalusia, a peacock named Astor and a peahen named Mrs. Shortley, a far cry from the flock of forty peafowl that once roamed the property freely under Flannery’s supervision.