Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Isn't this an amazing sight? A mother Muscovy duck and her 9 baby ducklings, who can't be more than 48 hours old, if that. Notice the one in the back looks much smaller, and it was all matted-looking, so I didn't think it would make it, but it's done just fine in the last 6 days. Rachel and her friend Anne took a picture of them and a pencil to the pond, and wrote down names for them - not like Joe or Mary, no. Get this: Juhunga, Linga, Zinney, Tikkey, Dionkley-Flugan, Peanut (that's the little white one), Spotta, Chokka, Winicka, and the mother is Tickla. I predict a career in science fiction writing for these girls!

Yesterday we went by the pond to see the duck family. They were there, mom and all 9 babies, but the mom was hopping on 1 foot. I was a bit alarmed, but there was nothing we could do, so we just went on with our lives.

Today I went with my camera to see if I could get some closer pictures. When I got there, there were 2 other women there, trying to feed the mother duck, but she would not get close to them. One of the women came over and introduced herself to me - her name is Claudia. She told me that the mother had a broken leg, and she was an animal rescuer and was trying to catch her so she could take her to the vet, then probably to her farm to recuperate. She was so loving, and you could tell her intentions were far beyond reproach.

Once it was obvious that another means would have to be employed to lure the duck close enough to catch (she had a net), Claudia and her friends left for lunch, and we had a plan to meet back later in the afternoon. We hoped by gathering more people, we could steer her to the part of the pond where we wanted her to be.

Claudia called me later in the afternoon, saying she had met a woman who lives across the street from this pond. This woman has 2 duck feeding times, 6:30 am and 6 pm. She puts out all kinds of duck food at those times, and all kinds of ducks go there to eat it too, including the mommy Muscovy and her babies. She was pretty sure she could catch her if she had the net, and they had a dog crate to put her in. Then the babies should be pretty easy to catch, especially if they weren't in the water where they could swim away. I went back later tonight and they were gone, so I am assuming they are on their way to their new home.

I did get Claudia's phone number and plan to call and see how Tickla et al are doing. I wish we had been able to watch them grow up, but I'm very happy to know they will be in a safe place and where Mom can get well.

Claudia learned from talking with the woman who feeds the ducks that originally there were 15 babies, but for whatever reason, only 9 made it. The small white one was initially rejected by the mother, and the feeding lady had to help it out of its egg. The mother would not clean it off, which is why it looks all sticky in this picture. But it apparently is tenacious enough that it has made it these last 6 days.

When I started this writing, I was going to nominate Claudia as the hero - and she most definitely is. To come to an injured animal with the ability to care for it and help it heal is a beautiful gift of the heart. But as I've written this, I realize that there are more heroes. The woman feeding the ducks gives in a grand way to the quality of lives of creatures living around us. Then there is Tickla, who went right on caring for her babies even with an injured leg. I think Peanut deserves a medal as well, for her spirit and determination to hold on to her life. I hope she has the most successful ducky-life possible! And then, there's me. I'm nominating myself for a medal because I care enough about life to make this a central event in my world of today. It had its 15 minutes of fame - I'm not home weeping and wailing or anything. It is my passion to watch, or talk to, or help out fellow creatures on our planet and help them find the way that is truly and uniquely theirs.

Welcome to your new life, Tickla, Juhunga, Zinney, Linga, Tikkey, Dionkley-Flugan, Winicka, Spotta, Chokka, and Peanut. May the sun always shine on your pond! Posted by Picasa


Tamera said...

Thank you for loving all the peanuts of the world!


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About Me

Orlando, Florida, United States
"If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you...I came to live out loud. [Emile Zola.]
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