Dear Ducks

Dear Ducks (you have names but the collective will do here)

I want to write to you to thank you for the joy and sheer fun that you bring to me.

There should, in my book, be a ‘Duck Day’ like Fathers’ Day or Valentines’ Day or International Bleating Day (yes… really!) when we can celebrate duckness.

To be honest, before you came into my life, I hadn’t really thought much about ducks. Occasionally, I’d throw some stale bread at the mangy creatures that populate the canal in the city that I used to live in but they didn’t figure big in my life. Really they were a repository for food that I’d bought but hadn’t eaten so I’d cast off my middle class guilt on them as I walked along the towpath to work.

But these are not like you (and - whisper it - I’m not addressing the Khaki Campbells here – they have their place – they lay abundantly). No I’m talking to you – Indian Runners – sublime and beautiful and funny; coming in all colours from the purest and cleanest white to the glinting and everchanging iridescent greens and blues. If you never lay me an egg again your future is still secure in the Camas. The perfection of your being is enough for me.

Indian Runner – the name is not appropriate for these northern climes but that is nothing to you. You explore everywhere around my land in all weathers sometimes emerging from the drainage ditch or the trees at the back covered in mud and making me laugh. But then you’re clean again in no time - I’ve never found out how you do that. Or you clatter about bum deep in the snow and ask only that I break the ice on your drinking water. Or you curl up on the grass in the sun with your heads buried in your backs and one eye showing in case the cat approaches. (By the way, you need not worry on that score – she’s very wary of you especially when you race about so gracefully in perfect formation but with an agenda known only to yourselves.)

I’ve found your nests again this year. It’s quite easy – you’re not very good at hiding them – but don’t worry, I’m not going to take all your eggs. I’ll leave some so that there will be more of you in the early summer.

Thank you for being you.


The One Who Brings Feed.

Jennifer Baker (27th May 2011)
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