Friday, December 23, 2011

Operation: Homeward Bound

'Round about the first week of January, this scene is going to play out on the border between Illinois and Wisconsin, heading north.

Although we're doing it in much more style: there will be a bike on the back.

That's right, the Beebe's are moving back to Madison!  Ok, just The Support Staffers; I will be terrorizing the neighborhood on occasion and selected holidays.

It turns out that when your two hobbies are farming - which requires you to be in the same place every day - and motorcycle riding - which is best done in a different place every day - one hobby is soon to be no longer.

The sale of the farm was somewhat anti-climactic - long-awaited and then over as suddenly as it began - but the disbanding of The Menagerie was bitter-sweet.  One dog went to perma-doggie-daycare across the road this past summer; the cats had each gone a-huntin' one night and never turned up the next morning; Willy and Wee Willy were hired out as trash recyclers and general lawn care professionals on another farm; Brownie went to the young daughter of the cattle farmer who must soon remove his cattle from the grazing pastures he rents from us; this season's sheep and lambs were sold; and the second dog will remain on the farm with the new owners.  Which leaves...the guineas.  What to do with 15 - the new owners want 4 of our 19 - of the stupidest animals on the planet?

Sell them, of course.  For free.

You would think we selling (ok, giving away) illicit drugs.  Dad put out the word along the electronic fence line that our guineas were for sale for the bargain price of zero dollars, and the phone started ringing immediately.

A furtive female voice: "I hear you got guineas to sell."

Dad: "Yes."

The furtive female: "How much?"

Dad: "They're free."

Furtive female: "How many?"

Dad: "As many as I can catch."

F.F.: "My husband will call you back."  {click}

It was like they were casing the joint to make sure the phone wasn't being tapped and traced by the DEA.  Or maybe the USDA.

I am only sorry that I had already returned to Austin after Thanksgiving, by the time my parents used fishing nets and dog cages to catch the guineas.  I asked Mom how it went.

"The new owners are getting 5 guineas and they are just going to have to deal with that."

Here's to guinea-free living in Wisconsin!

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