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When I am an old woman I shall wear purple. Or, the tipoff that I will be a crazy old lady.

I was standing near the road Monday, trying to listen for the guinea hens, who broke with tradition and were not hanging around the driveway at 4 p.m.

A man, obviously spotting my Little Bo Peep look, slowed his truck and shouted:

"You looking for the guineas? They're down the road, that way."

A three minute walk later, I found my flock eating grass in somebody's lawn and making a lot of noise. They're LOUD. I sheepishly waved at the guy in the window. They ignored my begging for ten minutes and finally, for some unknown reason, ran toward me with what I have to believe were happy, beaky grins.

I ran toward home along the side of the road with 11 guinea hens flapping, calling, and running behind me. I kept thinking it had to be quite a sight, and that I surely didn't want any of us to get hit by the traffic whizzing by. Whizzing before they hit their brakes to watch us, that is.

And then the guineas ran into the street. I crossed over into the lane of on-coming traffic and waved two cars down to a stop so that the birds could race-waddle past.

"Those your guineas?'' the woman in the first car asked. "They're beautiful.''

"I'm so sorry,'' I said.

"It's OK,'' she said, watching.

And then she probably thought "Freak!"

The woman in the second car waved. Her mouth was open as we ran past, me continuing my chant of "Gui-NAY! Gui-NAY! Come on, come on! Gui-NAY!"

By the time we hit our property line, I was laughing from the absurdity. I couldn't make that scene up if I tried.

The flock followed me all the way to the coop, where I quickly locked them up. My heart was pounding.

When I finally got inside the house, I repeated the story to my husband and daughter by starting off with: "You're not going to believe what I just did.''

"I am officially the town kook now,'' I concluded, laughing and giddy that I didn't die on the road with 11 guineas.

My husband said nothing more than: "You're going to be very interesting when you're old.''

And, no doubt, so mortify my daughter. Often.

 

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Visit Bilingual in the Boonies and Los Pollitos Dicen.

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