Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Today's post was going to be something about how we should appreciate our troops and the necessary and all-too-frequently fatal service they provide regardless of their leaders, but should treat those who criticize the patriotism of protesters as traitors. Then I realized I could sum the whole thing up in that one sentence. Suck on my brevity, bitches.

Instead, I'd like to write a few words about guineas. Now, you may say that there was a few words about guineas and that I should stop when I'm ahead but I'd like to remind those people that I never stop when I'm ahead. I like having a body too. Ba dum dum chish! I'm also not talking about that immigrant ethnic group that preceded the Mexicans and postceded the Irish as hated foreigner workers. I'm all against ethnic slurs unless the guy all uptight about illegal Hispanics has Italian roots, then I get a kick out of going all WOP on his ass.

I'm talking about the birds originally from Africa, but now a fairly common farm bird in the South (and a damn tasty pizza topping to boot). I had a flock of these when I was a kid, and I liked them and their unfettered taste for death. I once chased an egg-stealing rat snake out of my chicken pen while trying to catch it to move it to another place to keep it from stealing eggs. Unfortunately, the snake didn't realize where it was headed as it slithered quickly through the turkey pen with the turkeys observing listlessly and into the guinea pen. My guineas tended to move en masse and they have this gait that gives them the appearance of floating over the ground that seems quite paradoxical in its grace compared to their monster movie appearances. As the snake ducked its head into the pen, a dozen bald, lumpy, horned heads turned as one. The snake seemed not to notice and continued his doomed attempt to flee and I rushed to save his serpentine life.

I was too late. The guineas moved quickly like a gray cloud bejeweled with pearls being blown by a gale force wind and descended on the poor reptile. I was afraid to open the door to the pen for fear of their bloodlust being redirected on my shins. When the birds drifted away, this time on a sweet zephyr of sated appetite, there was nothing left. No scales. No bones. No blood. The five-foot snake was entirely consumed.

Not long after that I loaded every bird I owned into my truck and took them off to auction. I like to say it was because I was soon to be headed off to college and would no longer be able to take care of them, but there's a reason I did it about 10 months before the end of my senior year. I feared for the lives of the nonpoisonous snakes that kept my home rodent free. Yeah, that was it.


Julie said...

There's no shame in being afraid of your birds... well, that's probably not true. There probably is shame in that, but I saw Jurassic Park and it made birds scary.

sid said...

Jacob ... it took me a while to get the joke about you enjoying having a body and that's why you didn't stop while you are ahead. But now that I got the joke I can't stop laughing. I know, I'm weird.

Chris said...

Not exactly how I expected the snake incident to go down. That would have been interesting and/or terrifying to watch.

PS: Thanks for your concern, but Meaghan and I are not dead. We were on vacation in a place with no cell phone signals, much less high-speed Internet access.

Mickey said...

I love your posts about the details of your pastoral life that are completely foreign to city folk like myself.

Jacob said...

Sid: I'm glad you enjoyed the corny crack.

Chris: You don't grow up in an 80-year-old homesteader house without loving nonpoisonous snakes unless you want rat poop in the pots. My parents made that mistake as newlyweds and by the time I came around they practically had a shrine to the blessed serpent next to the family Bible.

Mickey: At least you didn't use the word quaint this time.