The Incredible Duck Caper
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that persons possessing a small farm must be in want of free livestock.
If you recognize the paraphrased first line of a famous novel above, please thank your English teacher. (Thanks Dr. Ruth Sharp!) Aside from the fact that I have always wanted to paraphrase that particular bit of genius, I feel it is rather fitting for our small farm situation.
There really are loads of people who feel that anyone with a cute farm will be thrilled to have their cast-off ducklings, their child’s incubated chicks/science project, their unwanted cats, and even a goat or two. We ended up with all of the above.
By 1996, we not only have the two children, but we also have an abandoned, white cat named Caspar, and a perpetually revolving cast of unwanted chickens and ducks. I say, “revolving” because it turns out that chickens and ducks are quite difficult to keep alive on the farm.
Most of our ducks have come to us from the Southern States farm store, by way of my own sister, Beth, who suffered from a lifelong duck obsession. Beth had moved from New Jersey to the town of Mount Airy a few years after Tom and I moved to our farm. As she had recently divorced and was raising three children alone, it made sense for her to move nearer to her family.
Our mother was a duck feeder. She often took us, children, to various ponds or parks to feed the ducks stale bread, but Beth was the only one of the 5 kids who would try to grab and hold the ducks. … Read more