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Buck Wheat! Buck Wheat! Buck Wheat!

May 2, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Columns, Sushi's Corner No Comments
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Have you ever been to my farm? Fields of Athenry Farm?

I love Sundays. No work, sitting on the patio with my family, grilling steaks, a dog bone or two and just hanging together. Hanging together always means a belly scritch – yes belly scritches – as we dogs love belly scritches not belly scratches! There is a big difference you know. Just ask a dog and he or she will tell you in the way they roll over belly up for a good old fashioned scritch.

I love Sundays because Mrs. B. loves her Sundays. Sundays are for family and rest, as the bible says and so says she – Mrs. B. The Fields of Athenry Farm family has learned not to cross Mrs. B. on this point. Don’t test Mrs. B. on a Sunday, to open her shop to the public, because it is just that – a Sunday! Keep holy the Sabbath, period! And after church keep the rest of the Sabbath for family fun.

That is exactly how it is at Fields of Athenry Farm and as far as a dog goes that means real body massages because the people who love us the most dote over us as if we are part of the family – which of course we are! And let me tell you – US DOGS do BELLY UP! Sitting around the grill on the patio we lean and smile and grin as our masters and family members chit and chat while scritching an ear, a chin, a belly – we lean in and the rub’in gets even better. Now around here that’s a lot of belly’s to rub, let me set the scene for this particular Sunday in May. May, the month that celebrates mothers, and there are many mothers at Fields of Athenry Farm.

Clover the Bullmastiff, Nelly the Border Collie, Tiki the Chihuahua and her daughter Puka Shell. Peach, the white faced lamb, Millie, the goat, Gnarly Gander, the China Goose and the rest of the goose gang, loads of ducks, Tink, Halle, and Betty, the horses, Sadie, (Oh Sadie), the most beautiful and perfect pony ever; you will notice her from all the rest as she is very flashy, perfect and pretty; pretty is as pretty does (so she will stand out! ), and turkeys strolling around the farm grounds. This is the view from the patio.

Now the Boland girls with their hair in curls as they had been to the races – horse races that is; were sitting at the tall wooden oversize table with the Paul Bunyan size chairs everyone loves to sit in. In fact, Clover the bullmastiff thinks she is queen bee sitting in one of those chairs. You should see her – with that big, big, mug of hers and that smooched up nose raised to the sun warming herself as if she owned the place!

What a beautiful Sunday and now we were all gathered round the farm patio playing games, grilling dinner and just talking about everything and anything when the air was broken by the shrill cry of “Buck Wheat! Buck Wheat! Buck wheat!”

Everyone turned to look as a group of Guinea Fowl raced up the long farm drive. One, two, three, four, guinea hens crying “Buck Wheat!” louder and louder running as fast and as furious as their legs could carry them.

Clearly they were on a mission alerting the world that something must be amiss. Bringing up the rear was the cock with his helmet head stretched up and out chirping as he ran after his harem.

Suddenly Helmet Head stopped in his tracts as the hens kept running up the drive. He looked all around him and became very upset. We all sat watching as to what this funny looking bird would do next? Helmet Head raced back down to the barn, chirping and calling as he went. Frantic he darted here and there all around the barn yard, searching, searching …

Mrs. B and the girls got up to go see what Helmet Head was looking for.

Helmet Head suddenly went quiet. The ladies approached cautiously as they observed the cock peering curiously into some old black tires. The soft cooing sound of a mother guinea protecting her nest could be heard. The cock perched himself on top of the tires and shrieked in warning not to come any closer.

Now, the commotion started all over again as the other guinea hens realized they had run up the long farm drive and had been left by their male escort! Buck wheat! Buck wheat! Buck wheat! and the screaming started all over again. Down jumped Helmet Head and raced back up the drive towards the rest of his flock. Mrs. B. and the girls laughed as we watched the commotion of the crazy guinea birds antics start all over again. Guineas make great watch dogs and love to eat ticks, but they can be noisy creatures. I guess we each have our thing, if you know what I mean? I’m just glad I am not a guinea bird!

It’s fun on a farm. There is always something to do and plenty of entertainment, especially this time of year as all the mothers and fathers create new life. Wishing all of you mothers out there a blessed and perfect mother’s day! Come visit us here at the farm as there are lots of new babies to see!

Love, Sushi!

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