"Where are your guineas?" I exclaimed in alarm when I looked into the cage of the young birds. Howard rushed to see for himself, but they were gone! He had treasured these fowl! Two had died when we first got them several weeks ago, but the four remaining were healthy and growing with careful feeding and attention every day. Small feathers scattered on the barn floor told the story.
Twice lately a huge raccoon had been discovered in the barn when our grandson went to shut the chickens in for the night. It was seen hiding in the rafters! Evidently the predator crept in just before dusk when the chickens went in to roost! There was evidence of a struggle when both white feathers and red feathers were discovered on the floor. Our white rooster had put up a victory fight, but the scanty remains of the red hen testified to her demise!
I felt so bad for my husband. He had doted on the guineas! Farm life can be so discouraging. I would have given up long ago, but my patient spouse is persistent. The quote "Hope springs eternal within the human breast" certainly fits him. He is already planning to get more guineas!
Several renegade guineas visit the farmyard regularly as it is. Sometimes only a few, and at other times a huge flock of them! We like them, not only for their zany appearance, but because they kill and/or eat pests like ticks, snakes, and other undesirables. Besides that, their clacking noise makes them a good "watch-dog!"
The raccoon reminds me of what the Bible says about the devil in 1 Peter 5:8. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour." Like the wily 'coon, Satan wears a mask. The Bible tells us he transforms himself into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14.) He can appear in many disguises to tempt and trap his prey.
The way my husband never gives up on nurturing and raising a flock of chickens makes me think of how God never gives up on us, His flock. Howard is ready to get his shotgun and go after the marauder. Jesus is pictured as the Good Shepherd who rescues the sheep with his rod and staff.
We are told in scripture that church leaders have responsibility to watch over our souls. (Hebrews 13:17). Maybe if we ever raise guineas to maturity, they will suffice as "watch-dogs" and scare away the intruders! Howard would be a happy man!