And so it began …
Summer of 2017 we moved into our home. Arriving along with the moving truck was the most unusual bird we’d ever seen. After several head turns and shrugged shoulders, and … “it’s not a chicken” … “well, it’s not a turkey” … we learned that this silly bird was indeed, a guinea fowl. It wasn’t completely love at first squawk. Which sounded more like a che-che-che. As we, and the neighbors, came to learn, that guinea fowl are quite loud! However, within a matter of no time, Archie, as we named him, had completely and utterly endeared himself to us! He became our crazy, silly, neurotic … and loud … Archie.
Archie ventured off our property during most afternoons, returning daily for a late afternoon snack and to set up roost for the night. As we learned, guinea fowl only see shades of dark and light. So, it is important for them to be situated before the sun goes down in order to not be spotted by prey.
As summer turned to fall, and fall to winter, Leslie, my wife, would go outside each night as we lost daylight and she would literally tell Archie to “go to bed.” And up he would go into his favorite tree. On warm summer nights we used to love to go outside in the quiet of the night to listen to Archie make his purring sounds of contentment.
It didn’t take long before we came to learn that Archie’s loud vocals were the best house alarm we could have! Not a car, person, or crawling ant would enter the yard without him warning us. And he was reliably up early every morning, putting himself on guard duty.
Before long, as we spruced up the house, grass seed grew in and bird feeders were placed, we started to notice all of the new wildlife flocking to our yard. Some of which really stood out to us as being somewhat “different.” Each and every one was greeted and befriended by Archie. These unusual, I’d rather call unique, animals made looking out our kitchen window one of mine and Leslie’s most favorite activities. We felt so fortunate that ours had became their chosen yard.
Each of these animals were named by us … because hey, EVERYONE deserves a name, right? And each of them became endeared to us for the qualities that made them different, and for the diversity they added to our yard.
Long story short … or maybe it’s the other way around … one day, as Leslie was being discharged from the hospital and anxious to get home, Archie spent his first evening away in slightly over a year. One day grew to two, to a week … and we then realized that our Archie had moved on. However, it is our belief that Archie did his work here and is now off to other places, creating inclusive environments and growing smiles as he did for us.