This week I have mostly been spending my lunch breaks (and before work. Ok and after work) checking on my duck babies. I am protective of them it borders on the insane. There have been moments where I have panicked, seeing only a few babies on their own but I am pleased to report that all duck babies are present and accounted for and Mummy Duck is doing a pretty good job.
I feel bad for her though, because these guys are wilful little so-and-sos. They are seriously mega independent. They're not scared of anything, they're not phased by anything, they are happy to try and strike it out on their own. Whilst this is good it makes me nervous, I'd feel much happier if they just stayed on the lake away from people, but no, these guys like to go walkabouts...
I totally get why they call it goose-stepping now!
They march about like a little duck baby army, on the prowl for who knows what. I'm guessing food because their main hobbies appear to be eating and looking for things to eat.
It's hard to get all 10 of them in one picture. Mainly because they have a habit of spreading out and not keeping together which causes me great amounts of stress, why can't they just stick together if they're going to go wandering off? (Anyone else get the feeling I'm going to be the world's most over-protective mother?) But also because there always tends to be one guy who's left behind. I've decided it's the same one, it just has to be, I have nicknamed him Runty but I don't know if he is or not, he doesn't appear to be smaller than the rest of them, just more stupid.
Any time the duck babies are off on an adventure together you can hear an ear-piercing cheeping coming from the lake. Guaranteed it's Runty, who somehow didn't get the message about the family outing and decided to stay on the lake but then freaks out when he can't find anyone so swims about screaming for everyone to come back to him. They eventually come back to him or he finds them wherever they are on the lake and it all turns out well in the end but it does leave me worried for him sometimes.
If I get a little worried about them, like I did last night when there were 5 duck babies but no sign of anyone else anywhere, I went down to watch over them for a little while and reassure them (or realistically myself) that Mum and Dad will be back soon.
I would love to tell you that this story ends well but this is nature we're dealing with and, to be honest, she's kind of a bitch.
As of today there's only two duck babies remaining. We found the body of one close by but the other 7 are nowhere to be seen. Mum and Dad are near to the remaining babies but don't seem to be taking too much interest in them.
I know that these things happen and I have no idea how on earth seven of those duck babies have disappeared, the possibilities are endless and mostly unpalatable so I'm focusing very much on not thinking about them.
But I guess I should be happy I had a good week of duck babies in my life.
Damn you nature. Damn you!!