The Trouble with Ducks
I was surprised to see my husband at our computer desk when I arrived home from my 10 hour work day, rather than at his usual position on the couch. I entered our family rom to greet him and our 17 year old daughter. That is when the picture perfect family evening quickly cam to an abrupt end.
Our assored 15 ducks and geese started quacking and honking. My husband yelled some expletives out of the window at the ducks and geese about how they should shut up and how he waw going to unpleasantly end their lives if they didn't follow his orders. He said out loud to no one in particular about how he hated those ducks and geese and how he wanted to get rid of them and how he wished they would die. I was taken aback and asked what his probem was. He turned his head ever so slightly in my direction and said "I though I just told you what my problem was. Did I need to repeat myself?"
Now let me go back to the beginning and explain how those duckscame to live in our yard. One day about 13 years ago, my husband just said to me that he had been thinking about gettingducks for our then 5 and 3 year old daughters to raise. Of course, he knows that I am an avid animal lover so he knew that he would get no argument from me. He went on to state his case. We already have the facilities, he said. We have a barn, over 1 acre of land. It will be a good learning experience for the 5 and 3 year old children. Now, I didn't argue that he should have talked this over with me before he planned this out, as it certainly sounded as if he thought this through and had already made a decision. I knew that all of the responsibility would fall to me. Who could have a problem with having adorable baby ducks? They are so fuzzy and cute. The kids would love them.
So soff we went to our local tractor supply store, that just happened to have a supply of baby ducks available for sale, that very same day. What are the odds? We picked out our ducks and took them home. Now, for the first 4 weeks of their life they were not able to live in the barn, did my husband fail to mention that part of their care?So we set them up in our basement shower with straw on the floor, heat lamps hanging above them, baby duck crumble, and water disheswith the just the right level of water for the baby ducks to drink and splash but not drown.Baby ducks are cute andfuzzy. Baby ducks are very messy. 5 and 3 year old children love to hold and play with baby ducks but are not all that interested in taking care of or cleaning up after baby ducks.
Then theducks were old enought and strong enough for us to move them outside. I was very happy. It was easier fo rme to take care of them and clean up after them. They had more room and were outside. We lost a couple of the ducks to foxes and I was sad. I was out late a few nights searching for missing ducks inneighbors years. I always found them. I tried to do this quietly while my husband and children slept peacefully. I was the one that made arrangments for their care when we went on family vacations. I didn't like to go away much because I had a responsibility to the ducks. Itwas difficult to get someone to come over twice a day to care for them. My husband and daughters went away a few times without me whileI stayed home,went to work and cared for the ducks. They had a great time. Brought me a t-shirt, even.
One by one we said goodbyeas the ducks started to die due to old age or illness.Natural causes. I dug holes and cried as I bured them. Planted flowers at their duck gravesites. We were almost through with ducks. I had loved and enjoyed them. I was begining to think I might have some time to do the things that I want to do. Join a health club. Play tennis before or after work. Take a vacation. I was sad about the ducks but looking forward to some time to myself.
Then my husband had a brilliant idea. He didn't include me in his plan, of course. He got together with the girls and decided to order some MORE ducks from an online catalog. This time they included some very large, aggressive geese. My husband and the girls picked out the specific ducks and geese that I would be raising and caring for for the next 12 years. God willing. Another perk with the online order is they arrived by US Postal Service. So I received a special phone call from our local post office at 5:00 a.m. on the moring of their arrival adivising me that I had received a special peeping package and could I come pick it up right away?
So now I have a whole new set of ducks AND gueese to care for. The good news is the large, aggressive geese are very protecftive and act as guard geese and keep intruders, and most everyone else, away. The only one they don't attack is me.