Fowler play

The Field - - Letters -

With re­gard to the let­ter “Fowl Play” [Septem­ber is­sue], I have seen a sim­i­lar sce­nario. I have a flock of guinea fowl, which are the best guard dogs, warn­ing of strangers in the yard, be they hu­man or an­i­mal.

They were mak­ing a racket one morn­ing from a pad­dock close to the house. What looked like a young fox was mov­ing to­wards them. As he ap­proached, they raced to­wards him and cir­cled the be­mused fox. He lunged at them and caught one. Guinea fowl in mouth he ran to­wards the wood with the oth­ers in hot pur­suit, the poor bird peck­ing wildly at the fox’s face.

I ran to the wood, where the other birds had stopped, still mak­ing a din. Af­ter a few min­utes, I heard a peep­ing in the un­der­growth. There was the in­jured guinea fowl – her peck­ing had made the fox let go. I couldn’t catch her so had to leave her in the bram­bles.

Later in the day, I saw them all walk­ing slowly back to the build­ings with the in­jured bird limp­ing along with them. They seemed to be pro­tect­ing her.

She was lucky to sur­vive and is still go­ing strong. Peo­ple say to me what stupid birds they are, I dis­agree. They are coura­geous and, dare I say it, in­tel­li­gent. Emma Uffind­ell Frome, Som­er­set

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