I am skipping ahead of our story a bit because I saw a flock of guinea hens this morning and was a little freaked out! Now, I am not a scaredy cat, pretty much not afraid of anything. But I have a learned fear of guinea hens.
We had been in the house for a few months and had started cleaning up the hillside meadows, sometimes referred to the ‘back 40’. It was grown up with briar and underbrush, lots of blackberry vines and young trees. It was a mess too – just like the house. So we began clearing paths and picking up junk that had been thrown there. And in doing so, being in tall brush and such, were pretty well covered in ticks each time we ventured up the hill.
So grossed out and doing what I do, I began researching the best way to get rid of the little varmints. We couldn’t put chemicals on that much property plus our water source could be compromised. So it was going to be something that killed them naturally or would eat them. And that last idea was the best – and in the research, I discovered that guinea fowl will eat their weight in ticks. Great – problem solved.
Bob goes to our local feed store in the little village proper, and asks the owner, Fred, if he has guineas. Well, yes, I do, was the reply. And then Bob asked a perfectly innocent and maybe silly question, Well, how many guineas are in a flock? 42 was the answer.
42? Bob asked. Yep, 42. Well, how many guineas do you happen to have? And the sly reply was – 42! Well, I will take two! said Bob. And two little guinea fowl, a cage and feed came back to the shack that afternoon.
We were going to Texas that weekend, so we left these chicks in the cage with plenty of water and food. But on our return, one had died and we were left with the guinea that became known as Mee Too.
Now guineas have a call that sounds just like they are saying me too me too, so the name was natural. And because it was an only chick, it became more of a pet than a working guinea. It bonded to Bob’s black cowboy boots and would follow him around the yard. Not so bad until it became an adult – then it would not only follow but chase him around the yard. Mee Too would perch on top of the shed and then careen down onto an unsuspecting visitor. He would chase the dogs and attack little children in the road. It was a menace!
That is when I began to live in fear. I would hear the little me too call as I was working in the yard, not knowing where it was perched or when I would need to run for my life into the house. We had friends that would no longer visit for fear of the bird.
So finally, the day came when Bob had been attacked one too many times. He was coming in from work and the guinea jumped on his head from the shed. Bob hollered bring me something to put this bird in. So I grabbed a pillowcase and Bob shoved the bird into the case and handed it back to me. Get in the truck! OK!
Now what I am about to tell you, I am not proud of. I do not believe in hurting living creatures or dumping dogs and cats along roadsides for them to starve.
But we drove down the spring creek road for a couple of miles. Bob pulled over and we dumped that bird out. Bob gunned the engine and we drove off, fleeing the scene.
We got down the road a little ways and found a place to turn around. As we drove back by the place where the guinea was dropped, we saw a herd of horses running away at break neck speed. And what was chasing those horses? Yes, MeeToo, the guinea from hell!
We never saw Mee Too again.
And the sight of those birds still makes my stomach drop and my knees turn to water.
to be continued!….