I would be remiss in blogging about my experiences here in Guatemala if I didn’t dedicate at least one post to Lupe and Juan Carlos. Who are Lupe and Juan Carlos? They are the hen and rooster that my friend got for me to help with all of the scorpions that have been showing up in my little hut.
Most people here let their chickens (and pigs, dogs and cats) roam at will. There are very few fences keeping animals in, although horses are usually tethered. I’ve been told that the animals come home at nighttime to get food. Growing up in a different culture, and being a vegetarian animal lover, I wasn’t comfortable letting my chickens wander around other people’s yards and in the street. Luckily my yard is fenced, and all I had to do was put some screening on the gate so they could wander around the yard, eat as many scorpions as they want to, and can’t get out into the street.
Lupe is the more daring of the two. She was the first one to eat out of my hand, and she will come running when I put my hand near the ground. She will also take food out of Juan Carlos’ beak if it is something that she wants. The other day she wandered into my outdoor living room and started to bop along with “So Rachet,” which was playing on my computer.
She is also a little bit of a diva. If I am giving them grapes as a treat, she prefers that I hold the grape for her while she eats it. If the grape should fall out of my hand onto the ground, she gives a look that very clearly shows her disappointment in me.
Juan Carlos is a bit more standoffish, but he is slowly warming up to me…or at least to the corn and grapes that I give him as treats. He feels compelled to announce his presence at regular intervals, but luckily not before 5 a.m.
Both of them are fascinated with my outdoor living room. They will walk up to the doorway and stick their heads in, looking around. (As I type this, Juan Carlos is looking in.) I’ve been working on training them to stay out of the living room. If they see me, they may place just one foot in, while looking at me. It’s almost as if they are testing me. As soon as I say their names and “no” they step back out.
If I’m not in the living room, they carefully walk in, making what sound like secretive clucking noises. I can always tell when they’re in the living room because they sound different. When I catch them in the act, they don’t even bother to try to look apologetic, but hightail it out.
At night, Lupe will put herself into the little chicken coop that I got. Juan Carlos, however, wants to be tucked in. When he is ready for bed, he comes over to the living room, and I pick him up and bring him to the coop.
A few days ago, I saw the first scorpion in my hut since I got Juan Carlos and Lupe. I carefully caught the scorpion, put it in a container, and brought it out to them. You would have thought that it was Christmas morning! They were so excited! Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for the scorpion, the scorpion made it through the fence to the neighbor’s yard.
I’m discovering their personalities and enjoying learning more about them. I’ll keep you posted on their escapades!