Posted in: Ducks, Farm Life | 2

Yesterday afternoon, while we were up at the house site working on cutting and stacking firewood, our little blind duck, Helen, disappeared. The ducks were in their little outdoor pen area, not locked in their house, which we never do in broad daylight,  and when we returned, there was no trace of Helen. No feathers scattered on the ground nor any other sign of a struggle.  The outdoor pen has netting above to keep out flying predators and a chicken wire fence to keep the ducks in. We know that the fence is not raccoon-proof but, because raccoons are supposed to be nocturnal hunters, we didn’t think there was any danger from ‘coons in the daytime.

Even though, as a blind duck, Helen would not have survived even one day if she had been born in the wild, we are still saddened by her loss. Forrest, her lame companion (probably a male, judging by the feathers) seems to be even more saddened by her disappearance. He has not touched his food since Helen went missing and mostly just lies inside the house and does not venture out at all.

Helen on the right, taken about two weeks before her disappearance. She had grown considerably since then and had begun adding some little “quacks” to her “peeping.”

2 Responses

  1. Sara Pearson

    I was really sad to hear about the loss of the ducks. For some reason, perhaps because there were two of them and they seemed to have unique personalities, they had reminded me of Dorothy Sayers’ two hens Elinor and Marianne, named after characters in Jane Austen’s _Sense and Sensibility_. Sayers describes them in a letter to C. S. Lewis: “ ‘Elinor is a round, comfortable, motherly-looking little body, who lays one steady, regular, undistinguished egg per day, and allows nothing to disturb her equanimity . . . Marianne is leggier, timid, and liable to hysterics. Sometimes she lays a shell-less egg, sometimes a double yolk, sometimes no egg at all. On the days when she lays no egg she nevertheless goes and sits in the nest for the usual time, and seems to imagine that nothing more is required. As my gardener says: “She just thinks she’s laid an egg”. Too much imagination—in fact, Sensibility.”
    I will look forward to hearing about future livestock!

  2. BobandSheila

    Thank you, Sara. It is great to have Dorothy Sayers’ comments add some class to this blog! We do plan to be getting more livestock but will wait until we have more of the basic infrastructure for them.

Leave a Reply