I forgot that ducks are a lot of trouble. Like each pregnancy, I remembered the good things and basically forgot that it was actually a lot of misery for me. When our girls were young, we adopted ducks and geese. The geese were aggressive and territorial and eventually I found them another home. But ducks, well I remembered the ducks fondly. As part of the frenzy of poultry buying, I bought ducklings (and guinea but that’s another story).
I had forgotten about duck poop, filthy water and constant quacking.
Soon I quickly tired of the ducklings. Like cholicky babies, they tried my patience and I fantasized about wringing their long little necks. I moved them from boxes in the basement to a pen in the yard. I tried to make a duck-friendly zone. A big pet box for shelter and a baby pool in which to swim. Soon it became a swirly muck of stinky mud that only I was relugated to cleaning. (It had been my bright idea, so no one else would even come close to cleaning this murky mess.) I counted the days until they were adults and could move to Campbell Pond.
Finally, Sunday afternoon they moved. Delighted to be swimming and playing in the water, they quacked and dunked and romped. Hooray, my ducklings were launched. I quickly disassembled the stinky mud pit of their former inhabitance.
Go forth and swim. Capture bugs or do whatever it is ducks do. Enjoy your freedom.
Monday afternoon, the ducks found their way up the hill and protested at disappearance of their former home. I took them back to the pond. Herding them this time in a circuitious route; back and forth, hether and yon. Back in the water. Several hours later, they were back up the hill.They simply will not stay at the big pond. Food and shelter are at the pond. Lots of places to rest and play, but they refuse to stay. They stand at the chicken run and quack at their kindred poultry, believing their freedom is banishment.
We have this saying on the inside eave of our front porch:It serves as a prayer for me. I want my family to go forth into the world and look for adventure, experiences, community, and connection. Home is your safe place. The soft place to fall when life becomes too much to bear. But it’s not where you stay. You find your story in how you interact with the world.
Now, how do I “quack” that out to the ducks?