It may seem foolish on this day of National Mourning to be posting about a duck. But I think if we can feel greatly about the loss of small beauties in our lives we are all the better for it.
For the past couple days especially they have been very vocal, talking up a storm for long conversations. From the house it always sounds like they're having a good joke.
There's also been an increase in wild animal sounds around the farm in recent days. On Friday night I went out to the birds a bit later than usual because we'd been out to dinner. I found Polish and one of the Buff Orpingtons sitting shoulder to shoulder in the little door opening of their chicken house, facing out blocking the door. This has never happened before. The coyotes were out in the valley below calling as I shooed those two inside and shut their door. They had been on watch, those sweet brave birds.
Sometime yesterday little Snickers lost her head, literally. Beginning their first full day without her, Pixie and Tootsie seem at a loss and are quite subdued today, not sure how to go about without her. Jerome says I seem very calm about it. I am strangely calm, but of course feel deep sadness at the loss of her life. We've all heard the saying "sitting ducks" and maybe even use it without really thinking about it. I have taken them out of their natural element, deprived them of being raised by a knowing mother who could have taught them how to be more careful, and put them in an environment that is limited in its options for their survival. I am saddened by my own selfish desires which robbed them of their chance for a "natural" life. I did not think beyond the desire to possess them, bewitched by the "cute" pictures in the catalog. Ignorant, unprepared and inexperienced, I was unable to provide them with better living conditions and failed them. Yes, they would have been purchased by some other buyer reading Murray MacMurray's catalog if I had not, but I did order them and wasn't prepared to keep them properly.
I have been learning many lessons here on Asbury Ridge this first year. I am sorry that this great lesson has been learned at Snicker's expense.
On this tenth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, I pray that the world has learned a lesson, dearly paid for by much more than the life's blood of one small duck.