Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bad Day in Duck Town

“I drowned one of the ducks.”

It’s never a good sign when you start out the day by drowning an aquatic bird.

What? I didn’t do it. Sherwood, my husband and boyfriend of thirty plus years, did.

But it’s my fault.

I told him what to do, just not often enough or clearly enough or slowly enough or enough. 

When I noticed that our four new ducklings ($3.99 at Tractor Supply) were starting to walk like Quasimodo, I jumped on the Internet, typed in “ducks lurching about like a character in a French novel”, eavesdropped on several duck blogs, and learned that ducklings being raised in giant rubber buckets occasionally fail to develop proper leg strength. Therapy to develop proper duck muscles included thirty minutes per day of swimming about in water of a sufficient depth.

That’s what I told my husband. Thirty minutes.

NOT – place ducklings in bucket of water and leave, until one drowns, remove remaining ducklings. Confess.

When he confessed what had happened, I said, “You don’t listen.”

He said, “Oh, I listen. I just don’t hear you.”

In truth, Sherwood felt horrible about the accidently drowning. Especially in light of the fact that he’s been working on a state of the art duck pen, complete with antique iron tub and surrounding concrete decking. He’s been working on the duck pen for about a year, because his first duck construction efforts resembled the work of a drunken computer programmer and my husband, a computer programmer, doesn’t drink.

Raising baby ducks has a learning curve like everything else, and duck farming ain’t for sissies. But like all learning curves it’s extremely helpful if hearing and listening become part of the duck therapy experience, before . . .

. . . somebody has to die.

Linda (Duck Out) Zern


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