Published: 12:28, 30 October 2020
| Updated: 09:29, 03 November 2020
Four roaming peacocks who provided lockdown entertainment to households in Deal have embarked on a new adventure - as told in a Christmas book.
Artist Rebecca Murphy and writer Joe Harris were inspired by the colourful creatures after spotting them wandering past the door of their High Street home in April.
Using their talents they created 'Four Peacocks go to town', a storybook which raised more than £200 for a mental health charity.
Now, the fictional tales are continuing with a second book 'Four Peacocks at Christmas', which sees Victor, Gulliver, Crystal and Prince set out on a festive shopping spree.
Their light-hearted and thought-provoking journey sees them tackle topics of consumerism, family, friends and community.
It features more than 40 illustrations by Ms Murphy, a Fine Arts graduate who is also a private tutor for primary age children, while the words, once again, are Mr Harris' own.
Speaking ahead of the book's official launch online on Saturday, November 7, Mr Harris said: "Four Peacocks at Christmas is a poetic, yuletide delight that we hope will appeal to all ages, young and old."
The birds who are owned by Paul Louis hail from Sholden.
Prior to the pandemic, they had not ventured out of the village but the quieter roads piqued their curiosity, leading them to parts of Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown.
They were spotted in people's gardens and on rooftops and even let themselves inside some properties like Campbell's car garage in Deal Industrial Estate.
A dedicated Facebook page was set up to follow their movements, with more than 4,000 members - some from as far as Australia.
This was until they were captured for a health check and returned home in early May.
Describing the tale, Mr Harris said: "It is Christmas Eve and the peacocks still have shopping to do.
"When they pop into their local town everyone is pleased to see them. They tick off all the items on their Christmas list. As the night draws in, Crystal and Prince decide to fly off to see the bright lights of the city.
"However, when they get there, the busy, rushing shoppers do not smile as they should.
"In the hustle and bustle of the city streets the brave birds become trapped under scuttling feet.
"Rescued by one of Santa’s elves, Father Christmas takes the birds under his wing offering wise words before they set off home to happily reunite with their brothers."
The book is published by Four Peacocks Publishing which supports new, unpublished writers and illustrators around the UK.
It is available from fourpeacockspublishing.com for £19.99 in hardback and £12.99 in paperback.
A £1 contribution from every hardback sale will go towards the Talk It Out support group. The couple have also donated two books to the 'Great Book Raffle for the Astor' and 11 copies of both books to Deal Books for Change, one to every primary school in Deal.