Mildred The Lone Duck
We have a new and unexpected addition to our farm. The other night, our neighbor texted and asked if we would be willing to take his one remaining duck. He has had ducks for several years. Often we would see them splashing in his neighbor’s koi pond in their front yard. We always commented on how lovely the ducks were. Recently, some predator has discovered an easy meal and has been picking off the ducks one by one. The one lone duck had made my neighbor’s front porch her new home and hang out. I’m sure it was a security issue for her. The front porch probably seemed safe, and perhaps whatever was hunting her wouldn’t come that close to the human habitat.
If you know anything about ducks, dear reader, you know they make a big mess. If they are out on a pond or in a field, it’s not an issue. However, if a duck makes her home on a front porch, it becomes an issue fast. My neighbor’s lovely wife finally decided she had had enough and requested the one lone duck find a new home. Thus, our introduction to a lone white crested duck was made.
With open arms, we welcomed the little duck, whom I promptly named Mildred. Our neighbor helped us to carry Mildred in her crate to the pond. Once we reached the pond, the door to the crate was opened, and Mildred promptly stepped out and jumped right into the pond. She paddled about, swam around, did that cute little diving thing ducks do, and bobbed her head in and out of the water. Our neighbor declared our pond a perfect fit for her and stood smiling at her bobbing and diving. Her bliss lasted for all of a few minutes, and then she was out of the pond waddling aimlessly around the field. Our confidence that Mildred would be happy and safe was a bit shaken.
We have quite a large gaggle of geese these days. I was unsure how the geese, who aren’t very friendly, would do with poor lone little Mildred. The geese came from the field to watch her, apparently declared her harmless, and promptly ignored her. Mildred will have a difficult time fitting in with this crew of mean girls. I’m sure they will make fun of her crested head, and they will not permit her to sit with them at their lunch table. My bib overall wearing wonder buns is at the eye-rolling stage of acceptance with my idea of getting Mildred a white-crested crew of her own. Don’t worry; I’ve already found a local hatchery, and I have fifteen baby ducks in my cart. I’m just biding my time until he reaches full acceptance that we are getting ducks for Mildred to hang out with so she is not alone. Insert a wink here.
We don’t have a very good track record with ducks here on the farm. However, since The Bibbed Wonder put an electric fence around our big pond, the geese have hatched babies, the wild Canadian geese have hatched goslings, and all have survived. I’m guessing my little duck will survive too. At least, I’m hoping she does. I’ve decided to give it two weeks, and if Mildred is still alive in two weeks, we will order ducklings and a duck house.
I believe ducks need a house to keep them safe. I can’t raise baby ducks in the garage anymore because that is where we work our magic and make soap. It is common sense I need a duck house. I already have one picked out. However, it’s not my dream duck house that floats on the pond. It is a cute little roundhouse with a ramp and a peaked roof. The Bibbed Wonder is still in the twitching phase of acceptance over a duck house. Don’t worry; he won’t convulse. He saves that for really big ideas like building a new goat barn, a new soaping facility complete with retail space and a classroom, and a goat product-related spa attached to bed and breakfast. You should see him shake when I speak of such things. Sometimes I talk about it just to watch him jump and twitch. Sometimes, I’m not very nice. Insert a wicked giggle.
I believe my approach to a duck house will be to talk incessantly about going to Costa Rica for two weeks in October. Leaving his beloved farm is also something that makes him twitch hard. Once he is in a twist, I will concede to a duck house instead of a trip. He will think he has victory over not going on a trip, and I will get my duck house. It’s really a win/win situation. I could also declare it an early birthday present. I’m turning fifty this year, and I intend to get a lot of mileage out of this milestone. I don’t want diamonds or a fancy car; I want a duck house.
I have a sneaking suspicion that a free duck is going to be a lot like a free dog…there isn’t one. Mildred needs companions who won’t make fun of her hair, errrrr, her feathers, and she needs someone to eat lunch with at her own table, errrrrr, her house. One must commit to being a good duck steward. It’s common sense. Don’t worry, dear reader; The Bibbed Wonder will eventually reach the stage of full-blown acceptance. It’s just going to take some maneuvering to get him there. He will get there relatively unscathed. Insert a wink.
As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, commit 100% to your endeavors, even if it’s an orphaned duck, and keep washing your hands.