This bit takes place back in late May and early June. It’s only now that I can talk about it.
I find that life is odd in that a crushing blow can come in any disguise. This time it came as ducks. This is serious business. A dream of mine was laid to rest just weeks ago. The wound is still fresh.
I’ll start somewhere in the middle. I’m not always good with times and dates.
Somewhere back yonder in my late thirties I thought I would own me some omelets- I mean chickens. Don’t quite remember how the notion was first placed in my head, but there it sat. Much research was done. Much. I researched chicken houses, chicken tractors, the Eglu and building my own chicken structure. Rather, someone who knows how to correctly use power tools, building me a chicken structure.
Much research was done on types of chickens. Bantams and Standards, Brown egg layers and white egg layers. There are silkies, cresteds, cockerels, BBQ’ers (it is what you think it is) and leghorns. I even shanghaied the family into attending the State Fair Poultry competition. Chickens are serious business. I wrote down breeds and winners and contact information. The owners, nice farm people, watched me assured I was some important city girl come to invest in a large amount of ribboned poultry. A lot of pictures were taken. Sixty dollars worth of books were purchased so that much knowledge would be gained.
There were naysayers in my life. “How can you keep chickens with cats?”, they said. “Farms, cats and chickens have existed for hundreds of years”, I said. “You can’t have a rooster in the city!”, they said. “You can order them by sex.”, I said. “They’ll eat up your flowers and tear up your yard.”, they said. “They’ll eat the weeds too.”, I said. “They’re messy!”, they said. “It will be fun.”, I said… This last one was my undoing. Did you hear the wail? That, dear reader, is what a dream that is dying sounds like.
So, you ask how does this relate to ducks? I’m getting there. If you remember, in late May I left my home and traveled to Colorado for my sisters wedding. I knew a small amount of mayhem and foolishness would ensue whilst I was gone. I returned to find two baby ducks growing on my backyard patio. They were precious. Small. They had names. Jedidiah and Levi. I don’t know why those names were chosen. It doesn’t really matter.
Being a responsible parent, I investigated into the perpetrator of this malfeasance. The “perp”? The eldest daughter. Soon to be High School graduate, intelligent child, should have known better. Stern talk was made about pet ownership responsibility, research and the life purpose of ducks. I let them stay. If only…
The eldest daughter spent much time working at her summer job and at summer visits with her father, living in another city. These activities took her away from the care, love and attention 2 baby ducks require. More and more of my time was spent caring, loving and attending. Yes, I loved those baby ducks. Each morning, when I went out to spend time in my backyard, they greeted me with their little ducky cheeps. Under my watchful eyes, they would waddle through the backyard curiously pecking at leaves and such. We fed them grasshoppers. They joyfully played in the water that sprayed from the “needing to be repaired” outdoor faucet.
At first they lived in the cage that was purchased for my chickens. Humph. A wee pond was improvised for them from a hamster cage. Soon, they needed something bigger. I bought a toddler pool. They were happy and cheeped their appreciation. They swam round and round, playfully ducking under water. Such good times. They also poo-ed. Poo is a small word. As soon as the pool was clean and they were replaced, they poo-ed. I don’t understand that. I had been warned by the naysayer that fowl do poo.
Ducks poo in exponential amounts. Each morning and evening was spent changing out the foul, discolored poo water.
Mornings are important. A disagreeable start to a day translates to a disagreeable day. Many disagreeable mornings ensued. It was a difficult time. It was hard to balance the affection for the cute duckies and what came from their hineys.
The end had to come. I issued the proclamation, in my best person of authority voice, that all things
foul -fowl, had to leave immediately, if not sooner. Henceforth, never to return. Balking and hemming and hawing came from the “perp.” Threats were made. Jedidiah and Levi left in a box (that they very quickly poo-ed in) to be returned to the feed store from whence they came.
That, I guess, is the end of the story. No more ducks. No more dreams of chicken ownership. The ducky poo ruined everything. But, you know, looking at all the chicken sites for this story, I can’t help but dream…
My favorite chicken sites: