One of our ducks decided to hatch her brood three days ago. What a treat. Little ducklings, looking for heat, in November. And to make it worse, they were bedded down in the big barn, with sheep and llama hooves to navigate. It was decided to move them today. One had already died in the nest. They now live in a large cage, with a dog house, fresh straw, and a heat lamp. Momma put up quite the fight, but she, along with her 4 babies, are now eating, drinking, and basking in the sweet infrared light.
After watching them for a few minutes, duckling hopping around carefree, while momma eats, it made me think. They had a pretty complex life in the barn. Other ducks to contend with, larger animals, and a number of fences with openings big enough for babies but not for mother. Now, they live in a roomy cage, with plenty of room to romp. They have a heat lamp, food, and no need to worry about the unexpected intrusions from the random farm animal.
I wonder if momma duck recognizes this. I wonder if she’ll be calmer. I wonder if the babies, who were shivering when they were placed in their new house, can appreciate the heat lamp blaring high temperatures into their house. It’s life made simpler. Easier. But I know she’ll still put up a fuss, she’ll still snap at me when I offer her food, and still try to snap my pinkie finger when she gets fresh water. It’s her way. The way of the Runner Duck. Of the duck, in fact. Even of the bird.
So live your blissful life me ducks. You may not know how well you’ve got it. But that’s what I’m here for. I’ve raised you from a baby momma. And so you’re little ones will receive the same kindness.