Then there was the hot weather.
It was a good coop–strong, neat, able to protect and it had a place where the air could flow through and the ducks would like it when winter came after the leaves fell and then the snow. But not now, not in this heat that weighed on men and birds and all things that live and walk or waddle.
We gave the ducks much water to drink and to wash and to swim in and we sprayed them with the hose, cold and good water, and they liked it and they splashed. Their tails wagged like dogs, the droplets stood on their backs and we felt young.
But the place where they slept needed to be clean and so it needed water, too, to keep them safe but also tough, in gut and feather. The coop had a pen, a long pen, long enough for five ducks and it sat on a strip of grass, ten feet and more when you added the coop. And it had wheels, for moving the pen to new, fresh grass, every few days. The ducks liked their pen. They liked the grass. They liked to move. And there is never any ending to the moving. It is good to move and it is different to every duck on every day and every move. To be young and loved and a duck in a yard in the summer, in a pen, in the heat. This is how it is when you have ducks and grass and food and water.
And a moveable coop.
*With apologies to fans of Mr. Hemingway and Paris…or Woody Allen, for that matter!
Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes