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  • Writer's pictureTina

RIP, My Quacker Jacks

Today, dear reader, I have sad news to share with you. As I had feared, all my little ducks have disappeared—the quack attacks, the poo crew, the quacker jacks, or the quackers crew, they answered to all the listed names, are all gone. My little flock survived the deep freeze over the Christmas holiday. They made it to the new year, but sometime in the past week, every fuzzy-headed buddy and their little brown friends have all gone missing. Sigh…

I have walked around the fence perimeter of the pond looking for telltale signs of their disappearance. One would think a creature large enough to carry off a duck would leave some sort of trail. One would think there would be drag marks under the fence, feathers, beaks, or feet, some sign of an altercation, but there is nothing. I have found no feathers. I have not been able to discover a trail under the fence. There is no sign of struggle or upset. My little comical feathered friends are simply gone.

If I’m being honest, I’m not surprised. I accepted a long time ago that ducks don’t last here. My bean, who is brutally honest, announced that they lasted longer than she thought they would. The Bean is not the most sentimental girl who walked the face of the earth. What I find most shocking is they all seemingly disappeared overnight. Usually, when a predator targets my ducks, they disappear one by one, maybe two by two. It appears that “POOF, just like that!” they are all gone.

We have had ducks in the past, but these little guys, although not friendly at all and rather stupid little creatures, were special because they were a gift from Jenna. Not only were they a gift from my friend, but we put a lot of time and effort into raising them-not to mention all the duck drama over the summer. Sigh. The banged-up knees, injured backs, sweating, and wrangling them into the coop every night was a bit of an adventure. They never did figure out how to put themselves to bed in the evening. Once they found the pond, they rarely came to the yard unless they wanted food. Although they were not the most intelligent creatures in the barnyard, they were adorable. I’m saddened they have met their demise.

I vow there will not be another duck brought onto this property until there is a proper duck house near the pond. Although, I believe some hungry predator has carried off any leverage I had. The Bibbed Wonder certainly will not prioritize a duck house for ducks that no longer exist. However, after an evening spent lamenting over the mystery behind the disappearance of said ducks, he did look up Muscovy ducks.

Of course, The Bibbed Wonder wants ugly ducks. Muscovy ducks aren’t even genuine members of the duck family. They remind me of the turkey vultures of the duck world. Muscovy ducks fall into the scavenger category; who knew? They are not adorable at all; quite the opposite. Muscovy ducks have lumpy redheads and unimpressive coloration. They don’t look like little fuzzy-headed Einsteins or a cotton-headed ninny muggins. Muscovy ducks look like they have blood-red cauliflower on their heads; think of a wrestler with a cauliflower ear, and you get the picture. In my opinion, these ugly little creatures’ only redeeming quality is eating snakes. Eating snakes alone is an excellent reason to add Muscovy ducks to our barnyard family. However, although ugly, some nasty predator would probably find them a tasty treat. Alas, there will not even be ugly ducks until there is a duck house. If I go through the trouble, effort, and expense of pestering for a duck house, I want cute ducks that don’t eat snakes or dead carcasses. I believe, dear reader, this is a battle I have lost.

Of course, a predator would not target one of the five roosters I have running around crowing twenty-four/seven. I would have been happy to keep my funny little ducks over a flock of roosters. However, not wishing ill will for anyone, I will continue to tend my flock of rapey roosters. But for the record, I won’t be sad if they make some starving fox a hearty meal…insert a wink.

My days as a duck wrangler are behind me, and I accept that. I definitely miss the comic relief of seeing my little flock of fuzzy-headed waddlers padding up the driveway with their fat little webbed feet slapping the blacktop. I miss the hilarious view of watching them run back to the pond as I shoo them away from the chicken feed. I miss hearing their charming little quack, quack, quack as they skim over the pond’s surface first thing in the morning. RIP, my adorable little Einsteins, and your lovely Harlequin friends.

On this chilly day in January, stay safe, be smart, don’t get ducks without a duck house, decide what battles you will choose with your spouse, don’t wish ill will on a flock of roosters, and keep washing your hands.

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Jan 11, 2023

I'm so sorry to hear about the ducks. A coyote? hawks? Weird how there was no sign of anything.

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