Tag Archive: guinea hen

Cyndy and I went out in the backyard the other day and discovered that one of the guinea hens from next door had overshot the top of the fence and found herself in our yard. She did not seem interested in exploring our back yard. She seemed intent on finding a way back to her yard, but clueless as to how to do so. She would strut in small circles, moaning with soft clucking sounds between the rose bushes and the fence.

Suddenly, the guinea hen would run for about ten feet along the fence. She would look startled and confused before racing back to where she began. Then she would begin the whole routine over again. As she ran down the fence, she appeared to be looking intently at the fence as if a hole  might open up at any time for her to escape through.

We did not let our dog, Misty, into the backyard for fear she would scare the guinea hen to death – literally. We were not exactly sure what Misty would do. So the hen spent several hours going through the same routine over and over again. Then our middle son, Cameron, let Misty out and she headed for the guinea hen, who flew back over the fence.

Which made me wonder why she did not fly back over in the first place. The obvious answer would be fear and panic. But that’s what made her finally fly back over. Did she continually go through the routine because she secretly enjoying the change, but was worried because she smelled Misty?

As Christians, we find ourselves in difficult situations we have placed ourselves in. When we overshoot a fence we should not be crossing in the first place. We find ourselves pacing back and forth, wasting energy, wondering where God is and why he doesn’t answer our prayers. We look expectantly, as if we will see a “hole in the fence” magically open up so we can walk into a parallel universe in which our problem is solved. But there is no parallel universe – only the one God created.

When God does not answer our prayers in the manner in which we would prefer they be answered, we begin to fear God. We begin to think that if he is not answering our prayers he has an agenda that may well be detrimental to our own, insignificant, agenda. Or even worse, that he is not thinking of us at all. So we keep pacing back and forth by the fence, calling out to any mortal who can hear us.

The fear begins to consume us. Finally, in desperation, we bypass the thought  processes and give ourselves to God’s grace and mercy. The fear pushes us beyond the limits of thought and instinct (understood here as faith) takes over. Surrendering to God’s will, we flutter over the fence and back into familiarity and home, where God put us in the first  place. God gave humans intelligence, but free will keeps us in doubt. We should work on dispelling the doubt and keeping the faith.

Peace be with you.

Night of the Guinea Hens

The past two weeks have been tough, for a lot of reasons. But a few interesting moments have popped up from time to time. After dark the other evening our dog, Misty, kept running to the fence and barking up a storm. There is a small dog next door that gets her teeth into the bottom of fence slats and pops them until they break. Since her owners fixed the broken slats, she has been less successful.

But I assumed that it was the dog that had Misty barking. I heard something on – or messing with – the fence. When I stopped hearing the noise, I went back inside. Not too much  later, Cyndy came in from the backyard, got a flashlight, and went back outside. When she had- been out there a while, I took the camera and went outside.

Sitting on the top of the fence were these two guinea hens. We were not sure at the time what they were. We knew the family had hens (one they found out later was a rooster), so hens were our first guess – just not guinea hens. Cyndy talked to the father the next day and he filled her in. But we do not know what is beneficial about having guinea hens nor do we have the inclination to spend time finding out. And it still might not explain why our neighbors have them and the father did not volunteer that information.

As you can see, when they are in pairs they each face the opposite way. It was pitch black so I could not see what I was aiming the camera toward, even when Cyndy aimed the flashlight at  them. I was afraid they would fly off the fence, which is what the other hens would do during the day when I make a sound – but I had not encountered the guinea hens before. But it did not seem to matter to them – particularly the one facing the camera. There does not seem to be a lot of thought going on behind the eyes. The flash did not seem to be at all bothersome.

It is interesting living next door to a family with animals other than dogs or cats – they have another small dog besides the dog that tries to eat the fence, but he is just as noisy. Before they got rid of the rooster it was really annoying. The rooster did not know a porch light from the sun. But even the hens spend a good part of the morning clucking.

I always enjoyed visiting farms, but I doubt now that I could live on one – at least a functioning animal farm. I would not be able stand the noise, not to mention the work when the noise meant I was behind with it. To re-phrase it, I might be able to live on a farm if someone else did the work. Not because I am adverse to hard work, but because working with animals is a whole nother, well, animal.

Animals, particularly in suburban areas, are not always consistent. The hens do not cluck at the same time every day. The dogs in the neighborhood, including Misty, cannot be depended on to bark consistently at anything except someone in the alley or stopping at every front door for whatever reason. The inconsistency makes each day the same, but different.

While I do not think I would be comfortable living on a farm, with all the violence and death in the world, it is somewhat comfortable and reassuring to hear the sounds of animals during the day. It reminds me that life goes on and God is still in charge. It would be nice to get some eggs once in a while, though.

Peace be with you.

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