Duck Drama: The Conclusion

Some of you may remember that in late May, a visiting (and unleashed) neighbor dog startled our duck, Mr. Bodgepie, into the air. Instead of circling around the house as he usually does, then landing, Bodgepie was so upset that he just kept flying. He flew south, and we found out a few days later, from a neighbor, that he’d taken up residence on the Zumbro River, maybe 3/4 of a mile to the south. 

Several captures were attempted, but failed. We resigned ourselves to the idea that he was down there to stay, since he’d have to do some major flying to get up out of the river bed and over the trees, high enough to see our house and barn.


Late last week, 39 days after Mr. Bodgepie’s flight, Melissa looked out the front door and shrieked, “He’s back!” Somehow the boy managed to get his heavy carcass up into the air high enough, and far enough north, that he recognized home.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that his wife Helen was a little miffed that he’d left. She had to raise their three ducklings herself. (Actually, she does this anyway—the males don’t really participate—but this is my blog post, so I’m going to imagine she’s feeling a bit huffy about this.)


As we watched Bodgpie pie waddle toward the barn, I said, “If he turns left toward the food, he’s hungry. If he turns right into the barn (where Helen was), he wants sex.”


Not surprisingly, he turned right. Both Bodgepie and Helen wagged their tails, so this was good. But then Helen decided to punish him for abandoning them. No nookie for Bodgepie.


Here are Helen and her ‘babies’:

Mr. Bodgepie was frustrated, to say the least. (I should note here that our rooster died last fall, so our hens have been celibate, not by choice. Whenever I come up behind one of them, she assumes the position, hoping I can help. Ah…no.)  Sunday morning I witnessed a most disturbing sight: Bodgepie trying to mount one of the hens. I broke it up before he damaged the hen, but I suspect she might have been inviting some action.


Bodgepie has always been polite—he spent months wooing Helen before she would trust him. Turns out this time he wasn’t willing to wait months. Yesterday, in a flurry of wings and huffing, he chased her out of the barn and, well, nailed her.  Apparently this is how it’s done down on the river.

For his sake, I hope he remembers that this isn’t how it’s done on this farm. We’ll cut the boy some slack, given his traumatic nearly 40 days and 40 nights on the river, so hopefully he’ll remember how to be a gentle duck again.


Another neighbor came to visit last night, with her dog unleashed, so we had to tell her the whole story. It’s great that neighbors visit, but we may need to post a signed: If your dog scares our duck back into the air, you’ll have to go get him and bring him back. Thanks.

11 thoughts on “Duck Drama: The Conclusion

  1. Oh my goodness! You should write a book! Wait a minute, you already have, a couple of times. I LOVE your writing and know for a fact that none of this is fiction. This stuff really happens!

  2. So good he found his way back home!

    My brother just called me and said he saw ‘Sheepish’ in the Costco out here in San Francisco.
    Be prepared for many more followers!

    How about coming out this way on one of you future book tours?
    Petaluma, CA has tons of sheep, a fantastic yarn shop called Knitterly and a great independent bookstore called Copperfields. Just an hour north of San Francisco!

  3. Richard—hi!

    Barbara—I’m going to be in SF in mid-Feb. Maybe I should see if I can put a Petaluma visit together—a Knitterly and Copperfield’s event!

  4. I am so glad Mr. B is home again, but do hope he remembers his manners quickly.

    I spent all day yesterday with a drum carder and then read your “Sheepish” chapter on drum carding at breakfast this morning. What a nice serendipity. Not as nice as the chapter I read before that, with breakfast, anyway.

  5. Jen, I know. I feel the same way, but there’s just something about ducks that makes nearly everything they do amusing. He’s behaving better, so Melissa’s stopped threatening to put him in the freezer.

  6. Did he ever know your frat Rooster? I think it was Romeo. It’s a story he should hear. Maybe an afternoon of reading that chapter out loud might be appropriate. Wasn’t the chapter called “Chicken Sex”

  7. Sheryl—yup, that was Romeo. Luckily Mr. Bodgepie has calmed down and is more of a gentleman now. Guess his 39 days away from Helen made him a little frantic.

    She’s now sitting on eggs again, so we’ll have another batch of babies before winter…

    Oh, goodie.

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