You may laugh (go ahead, it’s ok!) but I called the vet on Friday just because Peep looked a little bit off. Nothing I could say for certain; she just seemed, well, out of it. She was standing apart from the other ducks, looking a bit weary, closing her eyes now and then. Symptoms of illness? Internal injury? The receptionist told me there were no appointments available but I could call first thing in the morning and see if they could squeeze her in. So to speak.
When I got the girls (and Puff)* out of their pen the next day, Peep, thank goodness, seemed to have recovered her equilibrium and, although I watched closely, showed no further signs of being sick or hurt. Tentatively optimistic, I nonetheless bounced around on the Internet, looking for insights on hen behavior. After all, she and Puff had been getting to know each other better and, jeez Louise, maybe that makes a difference. Could be it’s constitutionally more challenging when there’s a rooster around.**
This morning, all was revealed. Fuzzy-headed and garden clog-shod, I stumbled over to the pen with breakfast and the hose only to see five tail-wagging ducks and two items that weren’t in there the night before. Wh-wh-wh-what the duck….EGGS!
It was Sunday, rather on the early side but that didn’t stop me from shouting to Pamela.
“We got an egg! We got an egg!”
Apologies to my neighbors but I just couldn’t contain my glee.
“No, strike that. We got two eggs!”
I clopped back to the house and pounded on the kitchen door. Pamela, mouthful of cereal and not exactly awake either, raised an eyebrow at the ruckus.
“I think I figured out why Peep was acting so weird!” I proclaimed as I waited for my daughter to grab some boots. “Come see, come see!”
“Ewwww, they’re dirty!” PJ shrieked. And she wasn’t wrong. Ducks don’t typically use a nesting box and even though I had moved the pen the night before, it’s hard to keep a rain-soaked lawn pristine.
“Don’t worry,” I said, breezily. “That’s normal.” Ahem.
As Pamela congratulated Peep on her milestone, I ran to get the camera and beheld the uncertainties of this new phase of duckness. Which one laid the other egg? Is it dirt or is that second egg really gray? How do we clean them? Are they safe to eat? Could they be fertile? Will the other two girls pitch in soon? Is this going to happen ever single day for a very long while? Is it probably just as well that Puff isn’t a girl after all?
Hmmn, sounds like we need to answer some questions before we can make an omelet.
*Arrgh, I knew this would be a pain!
**It takes a lot outta you to keep putting the seat down and rinsing the sink. So to speak.
Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes
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