Thursday, June 5, 2014
Duck and Other Duck
During my growing up years, my family encouraged a great love for the outdoors and for all sorts of wildlife.
My childhood home was located in a very normal suburban development, but the jackpot to me and my two brothers was the small creek that ran by the neighborhood, about a block from our home. We had our own collection of buckets, nets, and scooping devices that saw plenty of use over the years.
It was not uncommon for us to head down to the creek, slop around for a while, catch a bunch of stuff, and bring it all home in our various buckets and containers to show Mom. Later that night we usually headed back down to the creek and ceremoniously let our wildlife go.
If there were no crawfish to be found, those blobby jelly egg sacks that little tadpoles grow in never ceased to fascinate us. I'm sure that over the years we brought gallons of them home.
I'm also fairly certain that in all our days of exploring and slopping down in and around the "crik," we probably wrecked more than a few delicate ecosystems. I have absolutely no doubt that God has made right every one of them, just in His delight at watching us enjoy His creation so much.
I remember especially the Spring in which we somehow found ourselves in possession of two baby ducks. We named them Duck and Other Duck. Dad fenced off an area of our yard that became their home, and each night my father hosed down the area thoroughly to keep it clean.
Sometimes we'd take a trip down to the creek. "Come on Duck, come on Other Duck, let's go." And they'd just waddle down the road behind us, single file, quacking all the way. They'd slop around in the water and eat bugs and swim for a while. Then we'd head home again, single file as before.
Eventually as those two ducks grew, we decided it would be best if they'd learn how to integrate back into the wild, if possible.
One town away from us there was a museum with a large garden and pond area. Every summer there were hundreds of ducks that came and made that area their home.
Although it was sad the day we took them there to leave them, they happily flew off and joined the others.
For the next several weeks after that, we'd often go to visit and look for "our ducks." We'd stand near the edge of the pond and yell out "Here Duck! Here Other Duck! Come here Duck! Come here Other Duck!"
As you can imagine, with hundreds of ducks on the grounds and in the pond, the other people visiting those gardens always stared at us like we were loons when we did that. Until, that is, our favorite two ducks would suddenly come flying and land at our feet, quacking and apparently very happy to see us (and our handouts.)
By the end of that summer they were fully integrated into the flock, and after a while, we could no longer find them.
They seemed hungry today, and eagerly came running as I parked the car. I offered quite a smorgasbord for them, as I had a collection numerous bread ends, bagels and even some cinnamon raisin muffins.
Will I ever stop feeding the ducks?
It always brings back my fond memories of our beloved Duck and Other Duck.