I haven’t done a duck update for awhile, so here goes. Seven of the ducks went to a new home at the end of the summer. From what I hear, the digs are fabulous, so I hope the rest of ours don’t hear about it. There was a little dog mishap over there, with a couple of injuries, but all seems to be going well these days.
We kept three; two “blues” and Gloria, who is/was (I’ll explain in a minute) a mix of blue and that iridescent brown-green-blue of her mothers. Once the three “babies” learned to fly they took off nearly every day for a flight check. One day Gloria just didn’t come back, and we haven’t seen her since. Anything could have happened to her, of course, though full-grown Muscovies seem safe from just about everything but dogs and cars during the daytime.
Another possibility is that these ducks are known to take off now and then. Maybe they just want adventure. Maybe it’s to look for a new flock, a smart way to keep the gene pool rich and protect duck intelligence, such as it is. That’s what I like to think happened, of course — that Gloria is over there at Green Chimneys, adding her colorful genes to the big white flock they rescued last year.
The remaining two blues continue to fly up to the house roof in the late afternoon, just before Sr. Emm wants to put them to bed. You can practically hear them jeering at her from up there atop the third floor. “Nyah-nyah-nyah … you can’t get us!!” And they’re right.
There has been talk of clipping flight feathers, which began the night we realized Gloria was nowhere to be found, and gained support as the two others sassed us from on high.
But I’ve resisted. They are beautiful when they fly, for one thing, and I love the whoosh of their wings I hear several times a day. Besides, it is one excellent defense mechanism. None of their predators can fly. (Adult Muscovies are too big for hawks, though a hefty male eagle might have a go at a small female; we don’t have many eagles around here, though.)
And I’m convinced they love to fly for the pure joy of it. I know I would if I could. And if the Creative One set each of us free to become a viable contributor to the great tapestry of creation, it seems off somehow for us to try to make another creature live in a human comfort zone.
I’d rather watch them fly and love it, and when they disappear, which everything will, of course, I’ll be ready to enjoy whatever next flies into my life.