So it seems that Guinea Hens have a reputation for their striking lack of focus and common sense.
"Only don't expect them to be the brightest bird on the block. I still have to open gates for them after they fly over the fence. They forget they can fly back and just run up and down the fence line for hours. I have friends who think that guineas all share one brain cell between them and therefore the more you have the dafter they get. I tend to agree with them."
I have given Gloria a great deal of credit for escaping whatever injured her just prior to her arrival. I also acknowledge, with a good deal of awe, her physical strength in recovering from those injuries, and for demonstrating great physical strength by regularly hoisting her neatly-spotted and weighty posterior into the air for flights around the yard or hikes up and down the roof, decks, and window sills. In a yard oft visited by large dogs, and inhabited permanently by one of the herding variety and another of a houndish sort, she demonstrated a good deal of sense about when to stop gazing at herself in the mirror and fly away.
Apparently Guineas are often silly enough to wander off and get lost, but she has stayed here willingly for four months and been spoiled rotten. Something tells me she was quite happy here: she would run to greet us whenever we pulled up the driveway; she preferred the window ledge of whatever room we occupied; she always got food when she knocked on the window upstairs. Her leaving doesn't feel all that likely to my human brain, but in this case--as smart as I have considered this silly bird who adopted us--I have to hope that she was daft enough to wander off and get lost. I don't like the alternative scenarios. It's a shame she couldn't take her mirror with her.
Anyway, here's hoping that Gloria is somewhere entertaining a new family with her sprinkler imitations, and ridding their gardens of pests. We miss our big funny chicken.