The place of the former pheasantry (Parko g. 1)

According to Adolfas Daumantas, the cook at the Manor, M. K. Čiurlionis loved to spend time in the park, he liked the mysterious, dark places, the densities of trees transitioning to the natural forest. He liked the ponds, the swans floating in them, the walking peacocks. He admired the loops of Babrungas river meandering through the park, the pond turtles living there so-called cherepachs (in Russian – черепахи). On the western side of the park by the farm gate a pheasantry was situated, with colourful pheasants walking around and a domesticated roe deer visiting from time to time. Bažanterininkas (the pheasant keeper) fed the pheasants twice a day gathering the birds in a strange “musical” way – by trumpeting. When the birds heard this sound, they ran to the aviary, knowing that the sound of the trumpet meant breakfast, and another sound of the trumpet – dinner. When M. K. Čiurlionis was leaving Plungė, the pheasant keeper Andrzej Kotowiak came to bid him farewell accompanied by a beautiful live escort – pheasants, peacocks and a domesticated roe deer. M. K. Čiurlionis felt at home with this lovely company: he often patted the back of a beautiful roe deer, nibbled grass for it, and admired the pheasant feathers. M. K. Čiurlionis did not forget this place in the years to come, when he and his young wife Sofija stayed with her uncle priest Vincentas Jarulaitis in the rectory and were taking every-day walks around the Plungė area and the park. The couple would also turn past the former “menagerie”, which at that time was already torn down.

The pheasantry was where the Manor’s fauna keeper resided. Pheasants were also reared here. They were called bažankos (in Polish bažant – pheasant), and the keeper – bažanterininkas. Andrzej Kotowiak was the last pheasant keeper. (E.Ravickienė Šimtmečių takais (On the Paths of Centuries)).

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