Animals Cookie's Bliss Our Life

Duck Gleanings

Jason and Haruka are home now but while they were in Dallas for a week, Bob and I took on a few farm chores. Bob minded the flora and I fed the fauna. Each morning he’d head over to the greenhouse and hoop houses and open them up. I went to the house, let their four ducks out, picked up eggs, fed their two beautiful cats and let them out.

At dusk Bob buttoned up the green houses and I’d feed the animals again. Sometimes Bob would meet me at the house and together we’d watch the four ducks slapping their bills into a mash of chopped sweet potatoes and duck feed, splashing up a drink from their water dispensers, noodling around in the mud. Slap, splash, noodle and repeat.

Even on the coldest days I lingered in the duck pen, just for a laugh. Fingers under my armpits, I watched them shovel through mud and straw for god knows what. Insects, perhaps or just the mud itself. They didn’t seem cold in the least. Their only problem with ice was that it didn’t splash. They seemed so cheery and at the same time, very industrious.

The little world Jason and Haruka created for their ducks is perfect for them. They are in a large enclosure with a baby pool sunk into one end and a secure house for them to sleep in at night bedded deep with straw. And lots of mud, which the ducks made for themselves with all their rooting around.

I found myself laughing out loud watching these girls go about their day. They are all female, otherwise we’d be calling them drakes, not ducks. I can’t imagine they take themselves too seriously.

When the chores were finished I’d find myself waddling home through the woods. It’s a bipedal thing. Especially when the footing is slick with wet leaves and mud. It was a nice reminder to keep my balance and not take myself too seriously.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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