Duck Tale

Nothing heralds the arrival of Spring like the birth of baby birds and animals.  My niece’s Indian Runner duck welcomed a total of eleven ducklings into the world this weekend.  That’s a lot of little runners.

I don’t know when I’ve seen anything as adorable as this yellow duckling; his damp down sticking up in tufts, looking dozy and dead-tired from drilling out of his shell and inspiring cutesy descriptions that start with d.

Seeing these ducks makes me miss our ducks.  When we lived at our first farm, we had about ten of them.  They stayed mainly near the pond in the meadow, but when they heard me calling them to lunch and supper, they came running.  Literally.  They weren’t Indian Runner ducks; they were a sort of domestic Mallard who typically waddled.  But in the open stretch of pasture between the pond and the barnyard lurked an unseen, malevolent force perceptible only to the cosmically-sensitive brain of the duck.  All quacking ceased; they fell into single file and with outstretched necks they pedaled furiously all the way to the barn.

They knew it was time to eat by my unique and original duck call.  It went: “Heeere duck-duck-duck-duck-duck-duck-duck.”  I wonder what would have happened if, when they were halfway to the barn I had appended my call with “GOOSE!!”  Maybe panic in the ranks and every drake for himself.

When they reached the safety of the barnyard, their pinched necks relaxed. Leisurely waddling and sociable quacking resumed as they gobbled up the duck ration I sprinkled on the ground.  Until it was time to go back, that is.  I think they beat their personal best time with every 200-metre dash back to the pond.


We hope to have ducks again one day.  We’re holding off until we get around to digging a pond on this place.  Ducks don’t need to have a pond to survive, but their instinct to swim is so strong that they make an awful, muddy mess of their water supply if they don’t have an open body of water to paddle around on.

Yesterday I began to wonder, am I the only person who misses having ducks?  The only human being who delights in their shy, polite little personas and friendly “quack-quacks”?  I am happy to tell you, no.  I searched the world-wide web and found a kindred spirit of a duck-loving nature.  Weird Al Yankovik wants a new duck.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Laurie on March 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I will admit it! He is darling!!


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