Friday, February 11, 2011

A Love Story

The beginning of this story is a decision to purchase a dozen Muscovy ducklings summer before last.  I got that many so I could pick out a few to keep as they matured into their colors.  I ended up keeping four out of the original group, and I hatched two from eggs I ordered on E-bay.  That left me with three drakes and three hens.  They got along well, and suddenly, in the 2010 January blizzard, the girls started laying.  Not only did they start laying, they started brooding.  Successfully.

Midsummer of 2010, the population was around 40 large, healthy Muscovy ducks.  So the decision was made to rehome all of them.  Fine in theory.  Two of them escaped the transport crates.  One left after a few days (I live on the creek). 

Poor Ducky Duck was the lone duck.  He would spend hours talking to his reflection in the truck bumpers and any shiny surface.  He made friends with the turkey hen.  He stayed close to home.  Lately, the truck's been on loan more, and so we installed a mirror for Ducky.  Oh, he spent hours looking at himself and talking to the mirror duck.  Every once in a while he'd walk around to look behind the mirror to see where the rest of the duck was. 

Yesterday, he got the miracle he'd been praying for.  Waddling across the yard up from the creek he came, stopping to look over his shoulder at the lovely duck hen that was following him.  What?  A duck hen?  Yes, a beautiful Muscovy duck hen, with the same markings as our lost duck from last year.  I don't know if she's the actual one...I was pretty sure the one that left was a drake.

Nevertheless, we have named her Valentine.  She is not as wild as a truly wild duck, and will come to eat and come and sit with Ducky near his mirror.  Today he showed her the garage, where most of the broody ducks would sit on their clutches.  He showed her all the spots where mama puts feed for him, and his special water dish that Neil keeps washed and filled for him. 

If ducks pray, Ducky has spent the last six months praying for a friend, fervently, with great dignity, and with infinite perseverance.  If ducks pray, their prayers are answered, too.

1 comment:

  1. Ducks really love company. Our duck lost her mate so she decided she was going to be a goat from then on. She eats and sleeps with them, and sometimes I think I hear her bleating.