On Not Acquiring Ducks
Right outside the front door of our house — well, across a little stretch of lawn, fifteen or twenty feet maybe — we have a pond. It was one of the many things we fell in love with when we first saw the house. We still love it. It’s gorgeous, it’s soothing, it’s a marvelous place to sit in our weathered old Adirondack chairs and enjoy morning coffee or evening cocktails.
Occasionally, wild ducks come and visit our pond. Usually a pair of mallards, but sometimes more exotic fowl: hooded mergansers, wood ducks, and once even a bufflehead. They are very shy, these wild ducks. If we step outside, they QUACK QUACK QUACK in great distress and fly away, wings beating madly, water droplets scattering everywhere.
We had a fellow here the other day to talk about moving our propane tank from the faaaaaar reaches of the back of the house to a much more convenient spot at the front of the house (another story, which perhaps I will tell you someday, it’s not important now). Anyway my husband Mark was out discussing the job with him, and the fellow admired our pond. Mark mentioned the very shy wild ducks that we enjoy so much, and the fellow said, “Why don’t you get some domestic ducks? They’ll stick around, and they’ll even eat some of that duckweed.”
Oh! What an idea! Ducks who would stay! Ducks we could name. Ducks who might produce eggs. Ducks who might produce…
Ahem. Suffice it to say, we got kind of excited about the thought. And when I say “we”, I am pretty much meaning “I”.
I feel like I should clarify at this point Mark’s position toward pets, livestock, any other living creatures that aren’t plants (or invertebrates) with whom we share our home and grounds. And that position is: No. We don’t have a cat, or a dog, or a hamster, or a canary, or even, these days, guppies. The only animals that live here are the ones we don’t have any control over — the deer who patrol the fences, looking to get in and eat the garden. The voles who tunnel underground, and eat the garden. The slugs who — well, you get the idea.
I don’t know many other folks, particularly out here in the country, who don’t have pets or livestock of any kind. A few, yes; but we are…