Having finally caught the "don’t you dare touch me" pair and imprisoned them in the laundry basket, I rang my friend E and left her a message on her answer phone. When she returned home the new guineas would be in her chicken house.
Chicken house does not really describe this palatial realm. It's the size of a double loose horse box. The hens lay their eggs in wooden vintage wine boxes that are hung on the walls.
We opened the wire screen door and stepped into their kingdom. We were greeted by several plump hens, a small strutting cockerel and a large pearl grey male guinea fowl.
When Thunder and Cloud emerged from the basket, E’s guinea was very curious and for the first time in his life Thunder was smartly put in his place by the bigger bird. Within seconds this bird was cosying up to beautiful Cloud.
We crept away hoping that territorial rights would be settled by the time E returned. I had a sense of foreboding that things wouldn’t work out quite as we’d planned.
Later I had a call from a distraught E.
“We’ve lost the guinea fowl. We were out all day at a game fair and the girl who lets the hens out in the afternoon didn’t know they were there. They didn’t return at dusk. We reckon that they’re out in the barley field.”
I imagined Thunder and Cloud standing in torrential rain. Miserable and cold. It would just be a matter of time before the fox got them.
“Well even if they just had a day of freedom let’s hope that it was a great day.” Danny was soothing.
E called two days later .
“We’ve found the guinea fowl! They were roosting in a different stable. Cloud was way up on a beam and Thunder was hiding behind the door. I’m going to keep them in there for a week so they will know that it’s home and get used to us. I’m thrilled!”
And so are we.
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