Ducks cluck. It’s not exactly like a chicken cluck or a human what-a-shame-you-have-no-fashion-sense kind of cluck but a cluck all the same. In fact, one of my very kind neighbors told us just the other day how much she enjoys hearing our birds first thing in the morning. That’s right, ducks have start-of-day clucks (and pen-up time) clucks as well.*
It seems, actually, that the cluck serves as a kind of portmanteau vocalization. It’s the opposite of an alarm cry but it does catch your attention. It says hello and thank you and whassup. It’s a pleasurable accompaniment to an otherwise annoying weeding expedition. It’s a soothing conversation among them and with you.
And now that the Big Day** has arrived, we realize that ducks also have egg-laying clucks, too. It goes something like this:
Translated from the Duckish by the Author
“Oooh, you go girl!”
When I first heard this hen party chitchat, like the guy in the St. Nicholas poem, I leapt from my bed to see what was the matter. We don’t have a sash but we do have heavy wooden blinds and I struggled to raise those as I peered through the slats, checking to see if Mr. Skunk or Mrs. Raccoon were still in the house, I mean, the yard. Thank goodness, no varmints.*** But the ducks were milling about cooing and clucking in the purpley light of just dawn. Something had disturbed them… Hmmn, maybe I better slip on those attractive garden clogs and take a stroll out there just to see.
They greeted their kibble (and me) with a few Welsh Harlequin quacks and further clucking. No nasty critters but, sure enough, an egg. Putting one and one together (two plus two is much too challenging before coffee…), I deduced that this special clucking must be the Egg Arrival Cluck. Convenient for collection purposes it, nonetheless, wakes them totally up and like toddlers, they weren’t going to just roll over and go back to sleep. As I stood there in my waffle robe and rubber mules****, I realized that, from now on, the Egg Laying Cluck would effectively serve as my Alarm Cluck.
*You may remember the blog entry about quacks. This is the cluck edition.
**What, it’s not on your calendar???
***Because, really, what was I going to do—throw a shoe at them from the second floor?
****Of course, it might just be Peep’s way of saying, girl-it’s-a-shame-you-have-no-fashion-sense.
Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes