"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."---Mark Twain

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Whole 'Nother Mother

My husband has a buddy that is a few years older than we are.     He and his wife are two of the sweetest folks you'll ever meet.    They were not blessed with children of their own, and their later years have not been too kind.

They had to move to another house out in the country due to financial troubles, which is a side-effect of failing health.    But they found a nice little place with a pond.

Our friend decided that the pond was in bad need of ducks.     And he found nine little baby mallards at a bird sale or somethin'.     My ex used to go to these things for chickens and other feathered critters.      I have had two bad experiences with ducks, and they don't rate too highly with me.      Forget geese.     They are just bigger ducks with bigger 'tudes.

He brought his new "children" home and fixed 'em up a nice little pen. Probably to keep them from being late-night snacks for foxes and coyotes.

He spent time with them every day and he'd let them out of the pen so that they could do whatever little mallards do.     Whenever he let them out they would line up and follow "mama" everywhere he went.

The neighbors across the road are watching, and they started inviting folks over to watch.    Kinda embarrassing to be the neighborhood freak show.    Been there, done that.

 He couldn't go inside the house without putting them back in the pen or they would follow him inside.     If he put out the feed and was fast enough, he could make it back inside without the ducks.     Maybe.

 Watchin' from the window, he saw that after a minute or two, one would start lookin' around for "mama".        If they couldn't see him, they would start quacking.       He could holler out the door,  that re-assured the "kids", and they would go back to feeding.     After a few minutes, they'd miss him again and raise a fuss, he'd yell loud enough for them to hear him, and all would be well again.

He found a snake in the yard, and when he shot it the noise upset the babies.    It took thirty minutes of talkin' to the ducks to calm them back down.       I guess that makes him The Duck Whisperer.

He realized that they would NOT go into the pond.       Like mallards should do.

Since the ducklings had imprinted on HIM---and that indeed made him their mother---and they saw that "she" didn't go into the pond, they weren't gonna go in either.      They do what she does.      And "she" don't swim.

Now he is The Old Man With The Crazy Ducks.        And this ain't right!

So he takes them down to the pond and, nope, they will not go into the water on their own.

So he scooped 'em up and THREW them into the water.     The desperate act of a desperate man.

Before you get upset with him, let me assure you that baby ducks can indeed swim.         They just have to be shown that they can.       That's easy to do if you are, in fact, a mother duck.    If you are a Human on Disability...........not so much.

They swam alright!       Back to the bank!      Like feathered torpedoes!       Quackin' like crazy!     They clustered around his feet and shook off the water, and followed him back to the house when he just gave up.

Mallards also fly. I wonder how he's gonna teach that.      Let's hope nature kicks in before it's time to migrate Up North.       Mama Duck is gonna have a Hell of a time with that one.

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