This may come as news to everyone, but I am someone who is relatively routine-bound; maybe not bound so much as routine-dependent. That’s it – routine dependent. Even within the chaos of our lives, which are really pretty unpredictable given the scheduling vagaries of K’s work, my impulsive decisions to do things like join semi-professional athletic teams, and our joint decisions to randomly incorporate large stray dogs into our pack, I manage to build patterns into our daily activities that make me feel grounded, centered, and almost-sane.
I have a very specific routine for the twice-daily care and feeding of the goats, horse, cats and chickens. Note the very specific list: Goats. Horse. Cats. Chickens.
Note the absence of: ducks.
Said absence would be attributable to the lack of domestic ducks here at MisFit Farm. Or perhaps I should say, would have been attributable. On Monday, as I was completing my chores with the goats, horse, cats and chickens, something by the pond caught my attention. I shuffled out to investigate, and found a pair of domestic farm ducks, handily un-camouflaged in snow-white feathers, clambering up the bank from the pond and waddling around the pasture.
We have not had historically good luck with waterfowl here at the Farm. Our annual wild goose-couple were alienated after Azure invaded their nest and consumed their bevy of eggs. Coffee-dog chased a beautiful foursome of Mallard ducks given to us by friends as a pond-warming gift were into the neighbors’ above-ground swimming pool. After these events, I sort of figured were had been labeled locus non grata in the poultry world.
Apparently this pair didn’t get the memo. And so my Monday evening routine came to a screeching halt. I try not to overthink these things. I try not to ask myself if these two have arrived to help us reconcile our be-fowled karma. I like to think of myself as a person of action, not someone mired down in the banality of mindless routine. My first action step was to retrieve some English Muffins I had thrown to the chickens over the weekend and offer them to our visitors. I crumbled and tossed the crumbs to them. When this did not catch their interest, I decided perhaps offering a full muffin half would give them something substantial. Tossing it like a Frisbee, I managed to directly hit one of our guests in the side, resulting in a lot of flapping and quacking. Understandably, they retreated out onto the pond, a safe distance from me, my flying food offerings, and my dead-on aim.
We are not off to a good start.
We are committed to taking action to locate the pair’s rightful owners, but are a bit uncertain how to go about (a) locating the owners, and then (b) the logistics of collecting the ducks for return to their owners. Do we post photos on telephone poles? Buy space on milk cartons? Take out a personal ad in the local paper?
Or do I just adjust the routine to accommodate these additional wards?