Poor little fellow, or girl (it's nigh unto impossible to tell which is which on a duckling).....he never stood a chance!! He definately was NOT one of those little creatures who lived a charmed life. I don't know what his life was like pre-Miles farm, but I know this....the day he came home with Jeren was the day his life took a turn for the worse. Now, you would think that a farm would be the perfect place for a duckling to thrive, to grown into an awesome quacker, to strut his struff!! That's a pretty reasonable thought, I'd say. Only problem is, it didn't turn out that way for Buckles, the duckling! Here's how the whole thing went down:
I am in the kitchen, trying to make order out of chaos from all the graduation celebration stuff. I'm perfectly contented, knowing that Jeren and Janelle are spending some quality sibling time together, (for those of you who don't know what that means, let me explain.....it means that Janelle and Jeren were out shopping and Janelle was doing the paying!!!) and would soon be home in high spirits, ready to have a fun evening together. I'm thinking happy thoughts and bustling about, when I hear the kids come home. THEN, I hear Jeren call..."Mom, could you please come out here a minute?" My radar went into overdrive and I stood rooted to the spot for just an instant before I slowly turned and started toward the door. You see, I had heard those words, spoken with just that inflection, before.....many times.....and it was always the forerunner of things not so good!! I cautiously stepped into the doorway and saw Jeren standing on the back patio with a cardboard box in his hands and a VERY cheesy smile plastered on his face! From inside that box came the distinct sound of very loud, very frantic........quacking????? And that is when I met Buckles, the duckling that Jeren brought home from the Rural King! I've got to admit, he was about the cutest thing that I've ever seen and we bonded with him right away. He would stretch himself tall and rush all over the yard, quacking and dipping his neck as he explored his new world. We found a laundry basket for temporary housing and and old cake pan for his water. Buckles was HOME!
The first indication that Buckles was not going to lead a charmed life with us came when our Chocolate Lab, Snickers, decided that life was all about HIM! So, obviously, this duck must be meant for HIS enjoyment. He proceded to make a living sqeak-toy out of the duck, ripping the skin under his wing open in the process. It was such a bad wound that we figured Buckles could not possibly survive, but none of us was inclined just to throw him away or finish him off. So we put him in his basket with fresh water and food and went off to our scheduled activity, fully expecting the poor little guy to be dead by the time we got home. To our great surprise, and joy, not only was Buckles alive, he was thriving. We watched him closely for a few days, then decided that he was going to make it, so we had better do something a little more permanent for him. He needed to be outside in the sun and the grass where he could run around being all a duck could be! I am very good at coming up with inventions on the spur of the moment, due to my wild imagination I'm sure, so with a flatsided bucket, some fine mesh wire, 2 landscaping blocks and 3 bungee cords, I made Buckles a duck run. Little did I know that I was making him a chamber of death. He did quite well in there for the first 2 days, but when we went to check on him and give him his morning fee on the third day, we found an empty run, a ripped out bucket and deep gouges and claw marks in the dirt all around. Buckles was gone!! From the looks of the claw marks, we were pretty sure it was a raccoon that decided he looked like a tasty treat. So, Buckles the duckling was with us for only a very short time and we have decided that THIS farm is not a friendly place for critters that aren't big enough to protect themselves. The cat has claws, the dogs have fangs and the horses have hooves.......poor little Buckles only had a bill and he didn't even know how to use it yet. We're gonna miss the little quacker! He was fun while he lasted.