What the F*** am I going to do with a duck?! There’s a large purple Cadbury’s biscuit tin sitting on the windowsill in my office catching the rays of the sun. Inside is a piece of foam, an old squashed plastic drinks bottle filled with hot water, a load of kapok and a four or five day old duckling.
I was looking out of the window earlier and I noticed Missis Mallard was being bothered by a couple of drakes; we noticed she had had her ducklings on Tuesday and then they looked about a day or so old. There were 10 of them, all brown and gold and very fluffy.
Yesterday I noticed Missis basking on the lawn with her brood, still 10. Today with the advent of the drakes, the family had reduced dramatically and had become split up. So, being a dense human I trot downstairs to reunite them all. I pick up the duckling and plonk him (for want of any real knowledge as to the sexing of ducklings), back with Missis. He can’t seem to keep up, so as I watch he falls behind again and gets lost; so I do the same again…he fails to catch up. Finally the family head for the moat and I grab him and fling him in after the rest. Now I really notice that the poor chap is exhausted. He gamely swims after them but it is no good. He keeps being caught up in the weed and his little wings flap but it is still no good. Missis is soon out of sight and I am faced with a dilemma.
Do I leave him to die or do I “rescue him”. The result will be either he dies which he would have anyway or he survives.
Do I really need a duck? Do I want a duck? Why should I worry about it? Well I interfered and therefore it is now my responsibility – as I said he will either survive or not. He seems OK, tired but the good news he’s snuggled and he’s getting warm.Outside Missis has five remaining ducklings that I can see, they are tripping up over the daisies as they run around trying to catch insects shaking their heads and squeaking when they lose themselves. Missis seems to have a very laissez faire attitude but every now and then she quacks, they stop and come running….