Brendan and the Guinea Turd

Brendan and the
Guinea Turd

Marianne and I are very good friends. I suppose that’s why she asked me to come over and talk to her son, Brendan. She said she was having some problems, but didn't elaborate. Well, OK, but I had no idea what good I could do. I don’t know that much about kids. I don’t have any. I only have myself.

The house was a shanty, not very large. I could tell from the outside there were only two rooms and a kitchen. In the front a huge palm spread its fan contemplating a cartwheel; its thin reed-like branches stretched out, leafy fingers shimmering to the tune of the lush green carpet below. It was a pleasant laid-back place.


“Come on in!”

I opened the slightly torn screen door. As I stepped in I happened to look down. What was that on the floor in the middle of the doorway? It looked like poop--yeah poop; --dog poop? I almost stepped in it.

“Marianne, you have some dog poop here.”

“We don’t have a dog,” she said drying her hands and greeting me with a hug.

“Oh, no! Brendan, get in here! Clean that up!” Brendan came in smiling like a jack-o-lantern.

Nice looking kid about eleven year’s old, dark hair and eyes. He had just played the greatest joke ever! Look at him! If I had only stepped in it, it would have really made his day! Gee, he must have taken it out of the toilet. This kid is weird.

“Brendan, say hello to my friend.”


“Hi, Brendan. What ‘cha been doing today?” (besides pooping on the door step, I thought.)

“Oh, not much." Still that big smile. He squished up the poop in a paper towel and carried it into the bathroom. Marianne lifted her shoulders to her ears and tilted her head, her eyes like pinballs tottering and boinging in her head.

I heard the toilet flush. That paper's got to clog up the toilet.

"Do you want to come out and see my guinea pig? Brendan hollered from the bathroom. He’s in the back yard.”

“Sure.” I followed him out through the doorway. “Nice of you to clean up the poop, Brendan.” He didn't say anything. That was history. Now he's creating a new event, I supposed.


The back yard was large and very green. Wildflowers scattered themselves haphazardly winking at the gentle breeze. Lazy insects claimed the air space circling and dive bombing at will. A butterfly treaded on air.


The guinea pig cage looked like an old rabbit hutch. It was clean and smelled sweet like alfalfa. Brendan took his guinea pig out and held it tenderly, stroked it with his fingers.

“Do you want to hold him?”

“Sure,” I took the guinea and held it in the palm of my hand like he had done and stroked it with two fingers. It was soft and gentle. And the sun beamed joy to the wild flowers playing hide and seek in the jungle grass.

I proffered my hand to Brendan returning the guinea..... Lo and Behold! It left behind a green-brown turd in the center of my palm. Brendan, eyes riveted on the guinea’s donation, became ecstatic!

“It turded your hand!!” He kept repeating it; “It turded your hand!!” His delight knew no bounds.

Such joy elicited a spontaneous response: I popped the green-brown 'dew-dad' in a single swallow, what else to do?

Brendan stared stunned. “You ate the guinea turd!”

I had nothing to say, standing in the lush-green, warmed by the sun and the gentle guinea.


“Mom.....Mom, she ate the guinea turd! Ha! Ha! She ate the guinea turd! Ha! Ha!” He ran around the yard chanting, still beside himself in disbelief. The “Ha’s” got deeper punching his diaphragm and cracking out like thunder.


Marianne came out and motioned to me, “Come have some tea.”

“What about Brendan, is he OK?” I asked.

She nodded nonchalantly as his “Ha’s” continued to crack the sound barrier.

“Did you really eat that turd?”


“Have some tea,” she smiled.


Shortly, Brendan came over exhausted, shinning with some inexplicable revelation.

He went into the house and returned with his baseball glove and ball. “Do you want to play some catch with me? You can use my glove.”

“Sure, but I’m not very good. And I throw like a girl.”

“That’s OK, his eyes sweetened half-mast." He walked across the yard, relaxed and rythmic, throwing the ball from one hand to the other. He was probably the only kid who ever got to play catch with someone who ate a guinea turd. She was really cool.



And that’s how Brendan and I became good friends. He loves to have me come over; he asks my opinion about things and is very interested in what I do.


Culture Shock

My Grandpa Dew

Carl's Room

Separation from the Mother

Brendan and the Guinea Turd

In the Know

Thy Wish Is My Command



© 2005 Laurel Hovde