Friday, 21 May 2010
The canine sorority, that makes up the majority of the pack, were feeling more predatory than maternal and as Duckling got feistier and feistier he made more and more noisy causing paroxysms of whimpering from the said pack. I do believe thy started to slaver.
Although I had just sworn never to interfere in the natural course of things again, I just didn't feel that Mother Nature should have her way in my office, and certainly not before lunch.
So it was time to put Operation Quack into motion. Missis was nowhere to be seen and nor were her ducklings. I wandered around the moat all through lunch with Duckling in his box mindful that I shuold touch him as little as possible. Every now and then he made a bid for freedom but to no avail. I was on a mission to get him back to his Mum as quickly as possible.
I heard a lot of splashing going on in the old moat (we have two moats one old possibly 1066 and one new dug in the reign of Elizabeth I). The Old moat is near to the chicken runs and so I stomped off in that direction.
The drakes, nasty interlopers to the bucolic dream that makes up the small holding, were cackling and laughing and creating merry hell among the irises chasing all the females they could find. Pushing them off their nests and destroying everthing in their paths as tehy slated their lust. One poor duck must have nearly drowned for every time she came up she was jumped upon time and time again. And all the time the dreadful laughter.
Taking in the scene it was with a kind of relief that I could not find Missis. Perhaps she'd gone off and although I was glad for her it still left me in a bit of a dilemma. I needed to get this duckling back to her ASAP for there was no way I could look after it not with the dogs and cats and everything else.
The chickens were indignant and chuckling and squawking. I presumed because of what the drakes were up to but curiosity is one of my many failings and I poked my head round the open pen door and there was Missis with her five remaining ducklings all in a tight group in the corner, hiding.
Providence turns up in surprising places and with crossed fingers I set Duckling down releasing him from the tin box. He stood for a little time looking about and quacked then seeing the rest of his family he shot off to join them. Because Missis was so upset already I don't think she noticed him rejoining the family, the other ducklings made room for him and I retreated leaving them to it.
This morning there are no ducklings on the moat that I can see. The drakes are gone off to do damage elsewhere like a marauding grup of Vikings, striking terror into the hearts of all that see them.
As I fed the chickens in the relative peace a few ducks joined us, the pretty little white one looking a tad dishevelled, a quiet feamle mallard and a old drake shepherding them. They were very hungry possibly because they may have been hiding out in the tangle of roses that overshadows the moat where the drakes of yesterday had not bothered to check out.
Of Missis and her ducklings no sign. Perhaps she has taken them somewhere safer and I'll see her in a few moer days. I hope Duckling is there with her. I try not to think otherwise. For three hours I had had a duck and now I didn't. I'm pathetic but I was a little sad.
But come on really what the F*** was I going to do with Duck?