My five remaining guineas left the farm tonight in a crate in the back of a rusty black Ford pickup. They’re on to a new life as pets of a poultry-loving, 80-some-year-old woman, my coworker’s mother.
Although their departure makes way for new developments, I am sad to see them go. They caused me no end of stress and heartbreak with their ironic mix of idiotic wildness, and yet I already miss them. Watching them travel about the farm in their dapper little flock was entertaining and usually hilarious.
Some people see guineas as hideous dinosaurs, but I think they are extremely beautiful in their dappled coats and with their turquoise heads. I think my favorite part of owning guineas is what most people mention most hating about them—their noise. Their raucous alarm screams always alerted me to strange goings-on, and their standard “buck-wheat” calls, which I could hear even from my bed at night, told me all was well with the farm. And my favorite—their soft and murmury singing when contented—will always be one of my sweetest sounds. Tonight it’s too quiet around the yard and doesn’t quite sound like home.