For a variety of reasons the word ‘muster’ has been on my mind in recent weeks. This has led to brief musings about General Custer as it rhymes. This in turn made me think about the horse called ‘Commanche’, who was at one time billed as the ‘sole survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comanche_(horse) Of course he was not the ‘sole survivor’, many (most) native americans survived and also apparently did several other US Army horses/ponies, but his tale (tail) is one of symbolism and of taxidermy as he is currently stuffed and on display in a glass case in the University of Kansas.
Moving on from horses, I then thought about what muster actually means. It is quite military in that one ‘musters troops’ or gathers them together.
It is also the collective noun for a group of peacocks, who are also quite often the subject of taxidermy.This is my favourite peacock photograph – taken many years ago when Portmeirion was the home to several peacocks. It is a photo of a photo, so not of the best quality, it was also taken with a very old camera so to be honest that it looks like anything at all is a miracle. I love this photograph though, it reminds of a good holiday and a special time when the peacocks roamed free. The next year the peacocks had gone and have never returned. They mustered elsewhere.
I tried to think of a way to link this post into my garden. I wish I could end this by saying that because of the sudden lack of peacocks I now have one in my garden. I think it would probably keep the cats in order but I believe they can be a bit destructive as well, so sadly I have no peacocks. I do have quite a few robins though.....