Friday night I watched the most delightful movie I’ve seen all year, Fantastic Mr. Fox. I loved it, but must admit I’ll take a suave, animated George Clooney-voiced fox over the real one that showed up on the farm yesterday.
I let the birds out around 2:30 in the afternoon, and watched them while I puttered about the house. I sat at my desk, working on the computer while they hung out at the line of brush, cedar trees and old fence that divides my property from my neighbor’s.
I glanced up from my work around 4:00 to see what looked like a small red dog weaving and ducking among the flock, which was roiled up in a fluff of feathers and flying birds and alarm calls. What’s this?! I didn’t order a border collie!
I jumped out of my chair and onto the front porch, yelling the entire time without care for how my neighbors must have perceived this raving lunatic, and I pulled on my boots. Then I lit out into the fracas, screaming as I went, trying to chase off Mr. Fox. I was successful, and managed to fight him off into the woods behind my house—without a guinea clenched in his jaws.
I hung around the guineas for a while as they calmed down. About six—way too few in my opinion—had actually done the right thing and flown into the trees. Eventually they came down, inelegantly tumbling head over talons through the branches and landing hard. While we were all catching our breath, I heard movement in the woods and turned to look just as a bushy fox tail flew over a fallen tree and out of sight. For now.
The guineas didn’t manage to put themselves to bed as early as they had the night before, and wary from the fox attack I went out as it was getting dark around seven and was able to herd them into the coop. So we end another weekend with 16 guineas, about a half a dozen new tick bites (including one in my bellybutton, indignity of indignities), and one wary farmer who’s now researching livestock guard dogs.