Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Dancing with Ducklings

Skittering across the moat are four burnt marmalade ducklings catching the bugs that dance just out of sight above the water. One minute they’re on one side the next they are on the other, sometimes they leap out of the water to catch a tasty morsel – they really are quite as comical just as they are when they do it across the lawn – except they trip up over the daisies on the lawn!
The original batch I’m afraid are all long gone despite all my efforts to save them – as they say nature is ruthless in her efficiency. Basically we have too many drakes dropping in. There were four of them who pestered Mrs Duck Nos 1 so much that it left her exhausted and her ducklings bewildered and scattered about across the garden. In fact we found out that the drakes would batter the ducklings out of the way in their desperation to get to Mrs Duck Nos 1. And then I’m afraid Mrs Duck Nos 1 was just too tired, distracted and generally not able to keep the family together and what with foxes, rooks and various others lurking in the undergrowth the whole lot vanished. Mrs Duck Nos 1 is now laying again and perhaps there won’t be quite as much drakish desperation in a months time.
Meanwhile Mrs Duck Nos 2 and her ducklings seem to be thriving and she is able to totter around the farm without being stalked by anything other than Big Chicken Ollie my white Rooster. Ollie believes everything belongs to him – cats, dogs, laundry and of course every hen that crosses his path. He has even tried it on me and although I will admit he IS handsome he is not quite my cup of tea – bit of a slam-dunk type of guy and very, very jealous.
It is quite the most glorious evening, pregnant with the expectation of summer, dozy, warm peaceful. I can hear the aerobatics chap in his plane. He practices above out house I really have no idea why except that the farm it is pretty easy to spot from the air. We seem to be a turning point for all sorts of air traffic from Hercules, helicopters and various other military air support – and Roger says it has ever been thus!
There are pictures of the bomb that was dropped in the First World War and everyone from the farm standing in the trench that it made in the back field close to the house. Then there is the photo of the airman, who was downed a few months later, resplendent in his Biggles’ goggles, flying helmet and while silk scarf. We even have bits of the wooden propeller from his plane nailed to the barn. The airman in standing it was once the walled garden – it looks beautiful – and he, well he looks handsome, and strong and exciting. I wonder what happened to him?There’s a bigger splash and a large quack, Mrs Duck Nos 2 is calling her offspring into order and off they go in a perfect line behind her, home to bed – a place I shall wander off too as well.

9 comments:

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

Ah we had a drake who had a penchant for hens he and the cock would argue over them like a couple of teenagers ! Loved the dancing ducklings!

muddyboots said...

you have a real moat...cool.. we ahve ahd tomcat fighters flying really low sortees over here for the past 24 hours starting at 10.30 pm last night. during daylight hours l tend ot hurl myslef onto the ground to avoid any friendly fire. agian like you this area has always been used by the fly boys for bombing practice. it was really bad beforethe start of the 1st gulf war. A10s bombing the house!

Suffolkmum said...

Poor old Mrs Duck, doesn't sound nice having to fight them off when you've just given birth. Lovely blog, I can picture your farm, and am hugely jealous of your moat. Love those old moated Suffolk farmhouses.

Suffolkmum said...

By the way, saw your profile - I love The Quiet Man too, one of my all time faves (and my Grandad's!)

Pondside said...

Poor Mrs Duck(s)! For awhile the marshy area under our pump house was the favoured location for all amourous duck activity. Got rid of some drakes and have had happy and irresponsible ducks ever since.

Pipany said...

Hello Tattie, I love the Quiet Man and The Green Mile too. Our drake has only just got the hang of it all- was all bluster and no results, bless. Your house sounds amazing. ook forward to learning more about you (wish it didn't always sound so stalkerish!) x

DevonLife said...

Walled garden? Moat? Does thou live in aristocratic splendour?

Exmoorjane said...

Ah, the moat, the moat - did think that would sway those hard-hearted bints at CL!!! Love the poem - HATE ground elder.....ah, the bliss - i can say that without the Thought Police jumping down my throat and telling me I should love it and eat it!!! Lovely to read you again.
janex

countrymousie said...

A fellow turning point for the helicopters from, Wattisham - I thought I was alone - bloody things - they drive me to distraction some days. I had four over here constantly the other evening until 11.00 - I rang the station chief and they went on their way --- we are one of the highest points in Suffolk - not many high points! - and we stick out like the proverbial from the air.

Go on you know you want to...

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