I’ve been feeling under the weather the past couple days. Today, I slept in longer than I thought humanly possible. I had been up off and on to let the dog out, check Facebook, etc. Then I would wander back to my room and crash for another couple of hours.
I knew I had to get some fresh air. After about an hour of tinkering around I finally leashed up Gideon and headed out for a quick walk. I was grumpy. It was one of those days that the sun irritates the crap out you. All busyness of living life just seemed wrong and made me tired.
It was when I was passing by a pond, about a block from our house, that something caught my eye. I noticed a car stopped right in the middle of the lane. It honked, then drove off. You see this all the time around here when the geese, which are plenty, cross the road. But there were no geese in the street. That’s when I noticed a furry little something running onto the sidewalk and up into the grass. I looked hard…it was a duckling. I studied my surroundings…no ducks.
“He” was headed towards a little waterfall/pond but then quickly realized the current was too strong and turned around, headed straight for the geese. I assumed that his constant high-pitched squeaking and flailing wings meant that he had no idea where his family was. The geese didn’t like him. They started to surround and snap at him.
I instantaneously ran across the road with my dog, freaking the geese out a bit. I hooked Gideon to a tree and ran after the duckling which the snapping geese were beginning to “herd” toward the fast flowing, rocky stream (which has a cliff-like edge and is just upstream from the waterfall). Needless to say I outran the thing and plucked him from his destiny of certain ducky doom.
This little duck…so stinking cute. You can see how small he is in comparison to my hand. After a few moments of trying to break free, he settled down. He even fell asleep. So I dropped Gideon back off at home and headed for the pond. Bound and determined to find this little one’s family.
As we were walking I would intentionally try to give him fresh air, when I realized he kept purposely nuzzling his beak into my fingers. Pretty soon he was completely passed out.All sorts of thoughts were running through my mind. Did he just get lost? Was he rejected for some reason? What if I can’t find his family? How do you raise ducks? Who sells the cheapest kiddy-pools? How do I break it to my husband that we’re going to have a duck? “Before you go into the bathroom…just know…it was going to die if I didn’t help it.”
I wandered over to the pond and for a long while couldn’t spot any other ducklings. There were plenty of large ducks but I was afraid they might hurt him for some reason. So I waited and waited. Finally I spotted some movement all the way across the pond on a rock. I realized I was looking at a little duckling, same size as “mine”. I watched it for a few moments. It wasn’t accompanied by a mother duck but the others were leaving it alone. I decided it was time to go for it. I had no idea how they would find each other but figured it’s better to let them try. So after shaking him awake, I placed him on the ground and off he went. With that same high-pitched squeak, he made a “b” line right for the area where the other duckling was.
Long story short, they finally found one another and up swims a big duck. They jump on her back and off she swam. I watched them for a while, just to make sure all was well. They followed her up on shore, back into the water, etc., until finally swimming off to a nice shady tree and out of sight.
Sigh. After this whole ordeal was over. I realized I was smiling…loving the sun on my face and excited to tell the story of how I reunited a duckling with his family. Or maybe the story of how I was this close to adopting him.