Monday, 3 December 2007

A sad day

Well, it was inevitable, I suppose. Three of our ducks are missing, presumed dead. We had six charming mostly white ducks. They are a cross between Appleyard, Call Duck and Mallard.

We had four drakes and two ducks, which was going to prove a problem when they were older; indeed we had even talked of the necessity of serving up some of the drakes 'a l'orange' but we didn't get that far.

Last night, as dusk fell, I went out to put them to bed. I've been training them: I say "bedtime duckies", they quack and queue to go into their pen, indian file. They were beginning to get the hang of it too. Last night there were only three to say "bedtime duckies" to.

I searched, as darkness fell, knowing all the while that it was a futile search. This morning we found a patch of forlorn feathers. The missing ducks are, of course, the prettiest. We only had one which had the typical call duck call: She's gone.

The missing ducks are the one at the back above, not in the water, with the coloured back feathers; the one nearest the camera in the water (the noisy one) and the one just seen beyond her.

I was heartbroken. I really shouldn't keep ducks, I get too fond of them.

Hannah, who is five, said something along the lines of: "Never mind, Mummy, I expect a fox and his family had them for their dinner. There was a daddy fox, a mummy fox and a baby fox and they all had a duck each." Every cloud has a silver lining, apparently. So we lost three ducks, but the foxes had something nice to eat. Gee, thanks, Pollyanna!

So we have three left. Today. But Mr Fox, Mrs Fox and Master Fox know there is another feathery dinner in my vegetable garden. Sitting there. Like ducks.


  1. Oh dear. That is really sad for you, obviously not too sad for Hannah! Those ducks are beautiful though. Lucky foxes I suppose.

    I had to laugh at your amazing gift to train the ducks. Do you think I could borrow you for a few weeks to train my naughty puppy?

    Crystal xx

  2. Isn't it amazing how very unsentimental children can be? Sorry to hear about the the missing ducks though. Maybe you should put out some fox dinner so they leave the ducks alone? There is a popular German song about a fox who stole a goose. He is advised to eat mice in future otherwise the hunter would come and shoot him...

  3. oh dear! pretty photo and fantastic (wasted!) training. And yes, can you work wonders with Lolly please? I loved Fantastic Mr Fox as a child, but was always vaguely uneasy at the dead chicken part of it all. Hope it didn't spoil Rosie's birthday too much.

  4. Oh, how awful for you. If you feel the same about your ducks as I do about my doves, then you must be feeling pretty sad. Nature is very harsh.

  5. Well I would be heartbroken too ...

  6. That is sad, hope they have just gone on a holiday and will be quack soon!

  7. How sad to lose your ducks but I love your daughter's unsentimental approach. Quite a girl!

  8. How unsentimental is Hannah? While watching the film Flicka, just at the bit where she's been bitten by the lion and the dad is loading up his gun, Hannah said: "Mummy, can you eat horses?" Mummy didn't reply (too busy howling into a fistful of Kleenex).

  9. Sorry to hear about your duckies; I loved ours too (when I was Hannah's age), and I cried and cried when Mum told me Mr Fox had taken them - however, he hadn't really taken them all; only one, and he'd just left the others lying there...that was when I went off foxes...! Ours were Muscovey ducks and the loveliest one was called Dennis as he had big eyebrows like Dennis Healey...I can picture him now - bless. Mootia x

  10. Oh no, I have chickens and would be devastated if the fox got them (this is quite odd as I am really quite unsentimental and didnt expect to get attached). Your daughter is right however- out of the mouths etc.


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