(In case you don't remember or want to learn about them, here are the links: #1, #2, #3 and probably most important background for this story, #4). I'd kind of like to leave the story right there. It was rather sweet how the little family came together and we loved seeing them wander through our yard, always on the outlook for any kind of insect. But guineas grow up and there always seems to be some drama where our guineas are concerned. And not all stories have a happy ending.
|The guineas are a cross between a pearl grey father and a white mother.|
After that, they never roosted in the pine tree over the chicken pen again. Instead, they marched through several neighbors' yards and found a new place in a shelterbelt about a block away. They seemed to have forgotten where they belonged. We could hear them each evening as they settled down for night. We wanted them to stay home, at least for night, so one day when they stopped by for grain, Mike chased them into the chicken pen. They were not amused. It wasn't easy because the chicken pen is almost completely enclosed including the top, but several guineas escaped. With some inside and some outside the pen, they paced the fence and shrieked. We released the remaining guineas. They stomped off in a huff and we didn't see them at all for several days.
Now we had five guineas. While before they had always traveled together sweeping through the yard looking for insects, now we often had two groups. Apparently, two of our young ones had "coupled up." You are shocked, I know. "But," you say, "aren't they . . . brother and sister?" Yes, they are. However I want to point out two things. One is that these are birds, not people and the second thing is that for all they knew, they were the only group of guineas on earth. Hank, Jr., Edna and the spinster sister who I named Martha remained together. The couple I called Jack and Jill.
|Edna was always on the lookout for a bug.|
|A feather beside the road tells a sad tale.|
In the weeks since their parents' deaths we see guineas only occasionally. At first we were quite sure that we saw the couple sometimes and then Martha by herself at other times. One day there were two guineas in the yard and Mike said, "Listen, that's two females!" (Females have a two syllable call while males have a one syllable call.) Shortly thereafter only one guinea showed up for grain. Recently I asked Mike, "Have you seen any guineas lately?" He hadn't. "Maybe she's sitting on a nest," he said. Maybe. Just a few days ago I did see a guinea not far from the barn. When she saw me she turned and walked back into the neighbor's underbrush. I haven't seen her again.
|And then there were two.|
|And then there was one.|
Come back, Martha! She may.
|Hank, Jr.(2011-2013) and Edna (2010-2013)|