I just heard from a friend I met through the blog ... a fellow duck lover ... that one of his Cayuga ducks was killed this morning on his pond. It brought me right back to the day we lost our first Cayuga, and it struck me that, as jaded as the world seems sometimes, I'm proud to know other people who have the kind of heart that can be broken by a duck.
There's something about taking care of these funny, helpless creatures that runs the gamut from entertaining to exasperating to emotionally draining. As our original flock dwindled slowly from ten to six, and then suddenly from six to three ... and as we discovered that 15 ducklings is, in practical terms, at least three times as much work and worry as our original eight ... I sometimes question why we ever took on the care and feeding of ducks. They can be hard work, and you worry about them. Then you forget to worry and something goes terribly wrong. Every time we've lost a duck I've felt sad and angry, and guilty that I hadn't done things differently or taken better care of them somehow.
Ev always reminds me that the ducks are happy and that the smartest of them have survived over a year despite living in a place where there are all kinds of predators ... Darwin and all that ... and that they wouldn't be happy if we kept them safely penned up all the time. I know she's right, but it's still hard to see one less duck coming to the house for feed in the morning. My heart goes out to my friend, Fritz.