I took the two abandoned ducklings out of their cardboard box and carried them out to the barnyard this afternoon. I had noticed that a young duck had hatched out a nest and had 5 ducklings that she was hovering over last night, so I figured maybe I could release my two in the vicinity of the momma duck and she’d be so happy with the emotions of new motherhood, she would never even notice the additions.
Once outside, I heard the anguished peeping of a lost duckling. After searching a bit, I located a tiny yet vocal gray ball of fluff hiding under a truck. Where were her brothers and sisters? A hawk’s creeee overhead answered that question. I put the two ducklings down, and the lost duckling happily joined them.
Eventually momma duck came back from her swim looking for her babies. She looked the newbies over carefully and nibbled at them gently, but seemed to accept them. Then some of her duck friends came walking by, and she completely forgot about the ducklings and the responsibilities of motherhood to follow them.
The horse ambled over to check out what I was doing and to closely inspect as to whether or not I might be concealing any carrots on my person, and the ol’ dog rubbed his head against my legs. The hawk creeeed again, this time from a nearby tree where he was undoubtedly keeping a close eye on the ducklings. The cats looked at the ducklings speculatively.
I contemplated those three tiny puffs of down whistling happily at each other. Normal, civilized people do not have poultry in their houses, particularly when they are ill with a respiratory virus, and particularly if they have been blogging about the dangers of H5N1. A normal person would have left the ducklings to the mercy of the elements and nature which, as we all know, is unmerciful and unforgiving.
What the hell. I now have THREE ducklings in my house.