I’m sad to report that one of the little ducklings has disappeared. Which is, most likely, a nicer way of saying that one duckling has become “good food” for one predator or another—possibly the cat who spent all of two hours in its nice new garden home a few weeks ago. We thought he would be a great vole-inator. Turns out he much prefers songbirds and perhaps ducklings.
So, one little life has been sacrificed, and for that we are saddened as well as resigned. That is, indeed, life on a farm. Reality. Truth.
Another duckling was injured but managed to escape the fate of its sibling. Bill called me to appear in the kitchen with my “suture kit”, otherwise known as my quilting equipment. Needle in hand, the two of us stitched the second duckling back together. It was a large but fortunately surface wound. After a day sequestered in the barn, we returned it to its reduced family.
By late that afternoon the wound had reopened, either by the duckling itself or its siblings and moms. Back in the kitchen emergency room, we stitched again, and this time reinforced our work with a bit of superglue. And it was back to the barn cell for the little one.
S/he is spunky, and within hours s/he was figuring how to escape. Successfully, I might add. Several times. Clearly the wound wasn’t all that significant, in spite of the stitches and glue.
So today Sr. Emm created a mini-run outside, and Marilyn (Marilyn??) spent the day in the shade of the redbud tree, bathing in a makeshift pond, catching bugs and feasting on grass. Perhaps in a few days, when we are confident that the healing process is firmly established, s/he will be reunited with family once again.
We don’t want to rush things, though. How many times can you sew up a little bird before it decides to call it quits? For now, this little duckling is beginning to accept the human factor that has suddenly become such an immediate part of its life.
But the sooner returned to the real family the better. We can assist every now and then, but there is no viable substitute for the real thing.