At five weeks old, yesterday, the keets have taken a marked turn away from what passes for avian cuteness toward vulturine. Not even their cute little head stripes can disguise that they are on their way toward a fairly unattractive adulthood. They seem huge to me, with thick meaty legs and stout bodies. Their disproportionately thin necks are starting to lose their feathers—soon to be replaced with a vivid purple teenage skin. I looked at them last week and saw—wait, what’s that? Wattles!
I felt something akin to what a mother must feel upon noticing a slight darkening on her adolescent son’s upper lip.
Last night, as I was cleaning their cage, one bird let loose with a raucous adult alarm call. My pride was quickly tempered by the realization that this call x 16 was not going to be nearly as impressive. Well, it would be impressive in the sense that the county may have to write a new clause into their noise ordinance to deal with me, the Guinea Lady. I can already see the headlines in our little podunk newspaper. Oh, the shame!
But until then, I am happy to say that the best part of my day is after I come home from work and clean the guineas’ box and give them new food and fresh water and very tempting sweet clover and seeded grass. I know one isn’t supposed to grow attached to livestock as a perilous future awaits them, but when I sit next to them and they sing the sweetest happy eating song, cocking their bright eyes to look at me, it’s the perfect end to the day.