Living for the Revel (catvalente) wrote,
Living for the Revel

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The March of the Sinister Ducks

As I've been talking about a bit on Twitter, we now own three large Khaki Campbell ducks. They will start laying eggs in September, about the time our garden is most awesome. I will post pictures soon, but their enclosure is under very leafy trees and it's a bit dark for the iPhone in there, which means breaking out the Big Camera. But they are lovely brown ducks with long dark necks and they make adorable noises.

They're names, naturally, are Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Which means I get to say: "Honey, I'm going out to feed the fates."

They're still a little freaked out from their move, which meant parting from their flock of nine and being driven in a pick up truck for about a block. MAJOR TRAUMA. They are slightly mollified by having a giant pen all to themselves which is full of fun leaves and sticks and grubs and slugs, two little ponds, a shed for laying in, and food delivered morn and night. It is really enormous for three ducks--we could have kept all nine in there with no crowding. So they have this luxurious DUCK CONDO lifestyle, and they quack and murmur to each other while cuddling in their pond.

Every morning, I go out with a book and sit with them on a little wooden chair inside their enclosure, so they get used to me and know I'm their person. At first they stayed far on the other side of the pen, but today they milled around my feet, and this evening I picked one up and cuddled her and held her.

Their previous owner trained them from ducklinghood to tolerate being held and cuddled, so it went well. Turns out when you flip them on their backs and stroke their bellies, they kind of drop into a trance. Fortunately, duck bellies are awesome.

It's crazy, holding a duck like that. It's like a gift to my younger self who chased after ducks in the park just wanting to hold them so badly, being all DUCKS HOLD STILL I'M JUST GONNA SNUGGLE YOU FOR A MINUTE and being clumsy and human and not at all what the ducks had in mind for that day, and so they all ran off, but now they're mine and I get to hold that wild, brown thing.

In the summer evenings, with the lanterns glowing orange and green and blue on our tree, and the smell of the cilantro coming up, it's terribly pleasant to hear the occasional duck cry and shuffle.

They are just about the lowest maintenance pets I've ever had, certainly less maintenance than my dogs who don't make food for us and yet insist on being fed and walked and played with and indulged. Guys! Pull your weight! I want to start seeing eggs! Or something. But the ducks are placid and don't need to be minded at all times. They are sweet, and pretty, and when I see their three little heads waddling back and forth in the shadows of the trees, I am very happy indeed that we moved to Maine, and that we live on this strange little island full of ducks and lobsters and ghosts and accordions.

Man, I need a duck/gardening icon.
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