Such trauma this morning! I was all ready to leave for work, I had my lunch in one hand and my dreams in the other, and I had kissed the husband and puppy goodbye and was walking out the door when Wes whispered urgently, “Hey, look!” I looked and behold, there was cuteness:
A mommy duck with her little ducky children. She was leading the charge through our backyard (admit it, you’re impressed with our beautiful lawn) and toward…well, I’m not really sure where she was going. It looked to me as though she was on her way to a big cedar tree and, past that, about four different backyards. There is a pond nearby but it’s about a half mile away and requires safe passage through at least two backyards that house big dogs that bark all the time.
I was so enthralled that I immediately dug my camera out of my purse and snapped this photo through our kitchen window. Not satisfied with the blurry quality of the photo, I dashed outside to try to snap a better one. Now that I think about it, I can’t really say why the ducks got me so excited (or why I wanted such a better picture) but I suppose that’s another matter entirely.
As soon as I opened the door and ran toward them (they were about 20 feet away) the mommy duck just took off. She flew across the lawn and over our fence faster than you could say “negligent mother” and left her babies all alone. The little ducklings all ran for the safety of a holly bush and I ran back inside lest I wreak any more havoc.
Commence with the heartbreak:
These are the little ducklings after the big scary Erika frightened their mother into hiding. They emerged from the holly bush and just kind of congregated in the middle of our lawn. They were chirping up a storm and breaking my heart.
They were so little, so fluffy, so alone! I was very dispirited as I left for work. A more insidious homewrecker has never strolled my particular suburb before, I’m sure. Poor ducklings!
I called Wes when I got to work and he assured me that the babies were no longer in the middle of the yard lamenting their poor orphan status. I felt marginally better but I still feel like a tool for making their mommy abandon them like that.
While we’re on the topic, though, can we talk about what a crappy mother that duck was? Seriously, you could practically hear her screaming, “Don’t hurt me! You can munch on all my babies but leave me alone!” while she flew away. If I were a cat or a raccoon those ducklings would have been lunchlings.
I wonder what Doc would have done had he been allowed to meet those ducklings. He would undoubtedly have frightened the little duck potty right out of them but I’d like to think he wouldn’t immediately commence eating them. For one thing, he dislikes having feathers in his mouth (we know this because he chewed a hole in a down-filled duvet) and for another thing, how cute would it be to see him curled up with some ducklings?! He likes little kids so much that I have trouble imagining him hurting little baby ducks.
Then again, though, he is a retriever and was kind of bred to retrieve dead ducks. He’s always been an over-achiever so it wouldn’t surprise me if he took the initiative to silence the ducks prior to bringing them back. Yeah, on second thought, why don’t we just keep him away from all manner of fowl lest we find him slinking back into the house with feathers in his teeth and a savage expression on his little puppy face. There are some things that can’t be unlearned and water fowl assassination is undoubtedly one of them.