One fine day, weeks before Mrs. Curmudgeon began inflicting identity issues on a little runner duck, I rolled home to find Mrs. Curmudgeon and The Foxinator standing in the yard chatting. Even from far down the driveway I recognized the scene. Surrounding them were several chickens and four ducks. These were not my livestock. They are about to be my livestock. More mouths to feed. We’d been gifted critters.
I don’t like ducks. They’re dumb enough to make chickens seem smart. Their eggs, while excellent for baking, aren’t ideal for breakfast. Every duck I’ve had (which has always been a “refugee” from some other farm) has eaten a crap-ton of feed, crapped it back out in gooey piles and accomplished little else. I hate ducks. As if to prove my point about their uselessness, the four ducks clustered together on my lawn, MY lawn. All the room in creation and they were so tightly packed as to make a small square of duck.
I roared up in the truck and the chickens, wisely, scattered. This was my chance. The square of duck waddled to and fro ineffectually. Like congress; they failed to move in any particular direction but did it quite loudly. Removing them from the global index of dumb was necessary for cosmic balance. Duck dinner!
I mashed the accelerator. The ducks sat there like sitting congressmen. The term “lame duck” suddenly made visual sense. It was going to be gory.
At the last minute I relented. I couldn’t squash the Foxinator’s ducks while she was just standing there. I pulled up short. The ducks remained in their self imposed square and made noise. “You almost accidentally hit the ducks!” Mrs. Curmudgeon accused. Accidentally indeed.
“I’m going to Alaska!” The Foxinator smiled. “It’s going to be great!”
This explained the ducks. Couldn’t she carry them as luggage? The ducks stood about six feet away in their square… radiating stupidity. They were my problem now.
It turned out that not only was Foxinator going to Alaska but also a fox (yet another one, her property is cursed) had been rampaging around her homestead. She’d lost several of her free range chickens. Rather than tempt fate, the remaining handful of ducks and chickens had been granted citizenship and asylum at Curmudgeon Compound; a place where I’ve so far been able to maintain a fox-free perimeter.
More to come.