Ginny Guinea sitting on her favorite 'perch'
The Great Guinea Caper
I recently had the great good fortune to spend a few days in the beautiful state of Michigan with my best friend Tammy. One of the many things Tammy and I have in common is our love for the animal kingdom. Great or small, we love them all. And that is where this story begins.
Tammy has a Guinea hen. Just one. How she ended up with one Guinea isn’t as important as the personality of this particular hen, who I call Ginny.
During the day, Ginny Guinea roams freely about Tammy’s property eating bugs of all flavors. In the evenings however, Ginny is supposed to go into her coop as protection against the predators who roam the night. Except for one small problem, Ginny Guinea doesn’t WANT to go into her coop. In fact, Ginny Guinea will do everything possible to avoid it!
I agreed to help Tammy coax Ginny into her coop. So imagine if you will, the two of us, using walking sticks as arm extensions, gently herding a flighty Ginny Guinea into her coop. Did it matter that there was food in the coop? No! Did it matter that there was fresh water in the coop? No! Ginny most definitely had her own ideas of the best place to spend the night, and it wasn’t in her coop!
After much persuasion and calm, gentle guidance, Ginny was safely in her enclosure. The second night was much the same except that it took a little longer because Ginny had figured out what we were up to.
The third evening, Tammy and I grabbed our walking sticks and began the nightly task of convincing Ginny to enter her pen. Once again we slowly herded her toward the coop but Ginny had us figured out. Again and again she would walk toward the pen’s door only to dart away at the last second. After forty-five minutes of following Ginny Guinea around the yard, we gave up any thought of getting her in the pen. We had her cornered by the horse barn and thought to slowly herd her into the tack room for the night. Nope! She would not be herded, she would not be prodded or convinced.
So in our infinite wisdom, we decided to throw a blanket over Ginny, capture her and take her to a safe place. I was keeping Ginny cornered between the fence and the barn while Tammy stealthily approached with blanket in hand. In one swift motion, Tammy flung the blanket but that crafty Ginny Guinea slipped out from underneath and flew over the fence into the horse pasture! Clucking away. If you would like to hear a Guinea Hen sound, visit www.youtube.com and type in Guinea Hen call. If you decide to take a listen, be prepared because it is a raucous, ear-splitting sound! “Buck-Wheat, Buck-Wheat!!”
We admitted defeat, we gave up. Ginny would just have to take her chances in the wild outdoors. We worried about that little hen all night long! Wondering if she would fall victim to a marauding raccoon or owl. Waking in the night, I imagined hearing her gentle clucking outside my window. Poor Ginny, I thought.
The next morning, I was awakened by Tammy urging me to come look. Oh no! I imagined Ginny feathers scattered all over the lawn! Tammy led me to her attached garage and there sat Ginny, perched on top of Tammy’s black pick-up truck! So proud of herself! Apparently, when Tammy closed the garage door at bedtime, Ginny was already in there. She spent the night safely tucked away from all harm. We had a good laugh about that and shooed the little hen out into the yard.
The next morning, found Ginny again perched on top of the truck. Deciding we wanted to go to town, we hopped in, started the truck and backed out of the garage. We had turned and were headed down the driveway when Tammy commented that she hadn’t noticed Ginny fly off the truck. Opening my door, I looked over the truck’s roof to see Ginny Guinea, crouched low, claws dug in, ready for her ride! I swear if she had a little helmet and goggles, she could have been a World War II era fighter pilot! Much to her chagrin, I explained that she couldn’t go to town and she reluctantly hopped to the ground.
What is the moral of this story? Humans think we always know best but sometimes animals really are the smartest creatures.
And by the way, at last report, Ginny Guinea was still perching on the big, black truck every night.
Have a wonderful August and I’ll see you next month!
- Jeanna Billings
Jeanna Billings is an Animal Communicator serving an international clientele, a Reiki Master and a Certified Crystal Healer. She volunteered for many years with humane societies and animal rescues, serving as a Board Director, Adoption Counselor and Humane Educator. She currently teaches animal communication classes and provides private consultations. She lives in Indiana with her husband, three dachshunds, two cats and a very chatty parakeet. You can find her online at www.ShamansSpirit.net .