Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Ducklings Short but Special Life

This is Mrs. Wanda McDuckerson

It is the time of year for the little ducklings to hatch.  My daughter had a Mallard nest in her backyard that hatched on Sunday, June 2.  It reminded me of a summer about four years ago.  She had a pair of Mallard Ducks that lived nearby.  They would come for a corn treat regularly.

Feeding the ducks some corn.
She named them Wanda and Gene McDuckerson.  They had markings that she could identify as the same pair.  Every year they would nest under a hosta plant off their driveway.

Gene and Wanda

The eggs Wanda laid under the hosta plant

Wanda sitting on the nest.

When Wanda's ducklings would hatch, she would take them to the river.
Mama leading the babies to a safe hiding place.

About four years ago,  a strange thing happened.  Wanda either left one duck behind or one hatched a little later.   Out on the driveway was one little duck.  It was all alone.  My daughter couldn't stand it so she took him into the house.  She got a special cage for it and got special baby duck food.  They named him Pat McDuckerson because at that time they didn't know if it was a boy or girl duckling.  Later Pat became a beautiful Male Mallard.  He flourished and became their pet.  They would go outside and he learned how to eat bugs.  In the house he would sit on their feet.  He followed them around like a puppy.  Eventually Pat grew up and became too large to have in the house.  They found a farm where they had ducks and chickens.  Pat adapted very well and became king of ducks.  He had many girlfriends who adored him.  The owner of the farm loved him too.  There is a sad ending to this story.  One day a fox came to the farm.  Pat was killed but he died defending his girls.  They survived.

Wanda and Gene returned for about three or four years, and then they didn't show up any longer.  Our daughter is hoping the female who nested on their property the last couple years was one of their babies who grew up and had a family of her own. 

This is Patrick.

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