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The White Hen's Guineas

The White Hen's Guineas image
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OCR Text

When the old white hen came off with fifteen chirpy little guineas instead of her accustomec! brood of chicku she took to them most kindly, and made as usual, a fond, busy mother. Her little pink-toed charges proved very tender and hard to raise, and at what might be termed the adolescent stage in poultry Ufe, her brood of fifteen had been reduced to three. This trio, however, lavished an unusual amount of affection on the old hen, and she repaid it with a zealous and prolonged care, which she had never bestowed on her more familiar off spring. Af ter several fruitless attempts to wean the guineas, she philosophically submitted to the inevitable, and became as constant to the trio as they were to her, and we often spoke of their harmony and content. One morning, not long since, I was disturbed by a continuous noise from the guineas under the window, and at last I noted that I could detect no answering cluck from the mother-hen. When I went out into the yard to investígate I ÍDund ihe old hen lying stiiï and cold almost beneath my window, while the guineas hovered near, no doubt, puzzled by her sllence and her lack of motion. After the hen was removed, though they were now well-nigh grown, they wandered about noiaily and hopelessly, and for several days seemed lost. Whether or not they have found a resemblance to the mother, I cannot say, but they have at last wilfully attached themselves to another white hen, and Í cannot but believe that in time she must submit to the adoption, in spits of hnr efforts to rid herself of the responsibility so deliberately imposed upon her. The guineas evidently will accept no rebuff. They permit her nelther to dodge nor desert thera. When she attempts to run off from them, they scamper after her, and, if, in desperation, she flies aloft and seeks some airy perch, they range themselves beneath, crane their necks in her direction, and send up a plaintive "pot-rack" oí appeal. Right there they will remain, and keep up their chorus until the foster-ciother, touched into relenting or harassed by the restless persistence oí her self-inflicted charges, is constrained to fly down and acceot their attachment.


Old News
Ann Arbor Register