Ducks on the Move
The ducks have gotten out of hand. Photo #1 shows them as tiny fluffy balls, peeping sweetly. Photo #2 shows them three months later, big burly ducks who’ve learned to fly onto our house and crap on the roof.
The ducks are leaving today, and it’s not a moment too soon. We usually don’t keep them this long, but for some reason Melissa put off making the call to Harry’s Chicken Ranch, a sort of poultry broker, so the ducks have gotten bigger and started exploring the neighborhood.
A young neighbor called on his cell phone as he and his dad drove down the road. “Are your ducks supposed to be out here on the road?” Ahh, no. Kyle graciously herded them onto our 700-ft long driveway, and I took over from there, walking behind them. Ducks are not built for walking. They are built for flying or swimming, actions which they perform with grace and ease. Walking, however, is more of a waddle, so as I walk behind them, it’s actually sort of cute, their duck tails wagging, their entire bodies swaying back and forth.
When we finally reach home, the cuteness wears off when I notice the gray patches of poop all over the yard. I stomp inside. “Have you called Harry yet?” No, comes the answer. Please call him, comes my response.
Three more times I’ve had to retrieve the ducks from neighbors’ houses or driveways. These ducks are having a blast roaming the world, walking a quarter of a mile, making me come get them, then flying home, leaving me to walk home with the one duck too big, or too afraid, to fly. I never realized how slowly ducks walk until I had to match one’s pace.
There will be no more such wandering episodes, however, because Harry comes today, and will load the sixteen ducks into pens, take them to his farm, and sell them to people who eat duck.
It will be a sad day. I know because we go through this every year when Harry buys our ducks. Melissa will be quiet for most of the day, and spend time looking out the front door, missing the ducks. And since I doubt she’ll read this blog, I can safely admit I will miss them too. Chickens are messy and pushy and irritating. Ducks are messy and endearing. I cannot believe how much I love ducks.
I must remember that we aren’t running a resort for ducks. We aren’t running a health spa for ducks. We are raising them for meat.
The cycle will continue, however, since Daphne Duck is sitting on eggs. In two weeks we will have more cute little fluffballs to watch. In three months we’ll have big ducks clunking onto our roof and visiting the neighbors, just in time for the holidays.
Hmmmm. Christmas duck, anyone?