art. house. mum.
Chewbacca is a character much loved by our four year-old girls, and known mostly through figurines, illustrations, and verbal descriptions by their Star Wars loving Papa. They have Chewy soft toys(thanks again, Matt), and they love it when Matt wears his Chewbacca t-shirt and does Chewy impersonations. Our girls love Star Wars because they know that their Dad does (which is fortunate because the boy uses the light sabres as vacum cleaners...).
Amy, well, there's a line in a song on the Juno soundtrack "I never met a Joshua that I didn't like". Insert Amy, and that's it for Hope and Miffy.
And so it was quickly decided that the two keets (baby Guinea Fowl) which we picked up on Friday would be named Chewbacca and Amy.
Guinea Fowl are native African birds often kept for their tick and flea eating habits. The lady who bred ours keeps around thrity in the paddock with her cattle to pick the ticks off the cattle. We decided to get them because we heard that they kill snakes. So far we've only laid eyes on baby snakes round our home, but babies mean mothers... and I don't let my thoughts go too much further than that!
The downside to Guinea Fowl is that the apparently don't domesticate too well. So, we are calling this an experiment, and we'll see how they go. They also like free-range eating, and as standard fences won't keep them in, we may see a rapid decline in the number of tomatoes which we are able to bring in to our table...
But there are nearly always ways to make things work , and we'll do our best to find a way to make this work... did I mention that they KILL SNAKES...
And besides, while they don't seem to want to bond with us at all, they are gorgeos little birds. All stripey and soft on the outside, but wirey and strong, showing promise of being smart independent birds. And charmingly non-aggressive. Those beaks just don't look dangerous, and they don't peck or attack as we pick them up and get them used to being handled.
The kids are simulataneously in raptures over them, and freaked out when they make any sudden move. Even our fearless lad has shown signs of respect for these wild but tiny creatures.
So, even as we subject them to the indignity of sleeping in a cardboard box that is moved between the laundry and the bathroom, we speak of them with respect and anticipation not so much for what they are, but for what they have the potential to be.