Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Last One Standing

Photo: Me

I feel sorry for our last remaining duck. She's a buff and she blends in nicely with the light brown grasses that surround the back side of our pond and, unfortunately for the others, she was the only one to develop a level of skittishness that keeps her from being eaten like the others. She stays close to water, none of the wandering through the field in front of our house where safety is too far if something faster than webbed feet should show up.

She's even afraid of me. Mammals are always dangerous in her experience and I'm the biggest of the kind. You can tell she longs for the company, though. She shadows me at a safe distance whenever I'm out back. When I let the chickens and guineas wander, she often mingles with them, but a duck could never be happy with a guinea. Guineas are like middle schoolers, loud, rambunctious, and possessing a unique mean spiritedness that just doesn't translate into duck. Many afternoons I go out back to leave her a pile of corn and feed the other birds and she's standing quietly along the bank of the pond nearest the woods next to the great blue heron that works our schools of minnows and small fish, but herons make lousy companions too. They may be stately and beautiful, but they're silent and still as well. A duck may not entirely fit in with the frat party of a guinea flock, but they're not exactly at home at a weeknight supper in an old-money home either. I plan on adding to the flock this spring, but until then she'll just have to settle.


Courtney said...

She's no afro duck, but at least she knows how not to get eaten.

Julie said...

Poor ducky. Birds are social animals. It is unfair for them to be alone.