RG Meets the Ducks
July 5, 2008
Later we went to visit the Friendly Neighbors and their new families consisting of four ducks and about a dozen chickens.
The ducks were digging in mulch, apparently fishing out slugs to consume. For gardeners, eating slugs elevates ducks to a status somewhere close to Mother Teresa caring for lepers. The Friendly Neighbors guided the ducks to their “cold tub,” a small pond about five feet in circumference, so RG could see them cavort in the water.
Their pool was rather dirty, as the ducks get very dirty, especially their bills (from constantly rummaging in the dirt), and the ducks bathe frequently. Mr. Friendly Neighbor has constructed a clever drainage system so the pool can be emptied and flow water on to garden plants as it drains. He refilled the pool with clean water, much to the ducks’ delight. (They notice the difference between a tub full of dirty water and a tub full of clean water.)
Once the ducks realized they had clean water, they began diving and splashing to clean vigorously.
The Friendly Neighbors introduced the ducks to us: Mr. D., the drake, and Zelda, his main squeeze, are mallards. The two brown ducks, Lucy and Sarah, are Khaki Campbells. The ducks muttered companionably, much to Mrs. Random’s delight. She loves the sound of duck muttering. Although my wife is a chickadee, she mutters frequently, much like a duck. (My wife is also a nuthatch, explaining quite a bit about my daughter.)
Although Zelda was behaving herself, the Friendly Neighbors explained that Zelda is quite loud, opinionated, and assertive. In fact, even as we watched, Zelda pecked the drake vigorously. Instead of pecking her back, he removed himself from the duck cool tub, indicating he is seriously henpecked. RG sat on a bench and watched the ducks intensely. When they splashed her a bit as they cavorted, she chuckled, finding the splashing refreshing and enjoyable.
Of course, she may really have been chuckling at how Zelda was pecking the drake, picking up tips for her future domestic life.
Caution to future spouse of Random Granddaughter: prepare yourself for your diet of slugs.