On the Farm

On the farm there are cows, chickens, a cat, and a dog. There is a
pond, or a fish tank. There are no ducks. I saw a post in the local
newsgroups about young female ducks for $15. I decided that my mom and
dad need some ducks to go on that farm.

The post described these ducks as young runner ducks. They didn’t
require a pond. They only needed a fresh supply of drinking
water. Further correspondence revealed that the ducks were social
animals and that I should consider getting at least three so the ducks
wouldn’t be lonely. I arranged for four ducks, all female, and all
younger so we won’t have to worry about eggs for a while.

When my mom first brought chickens home the chicks were small, about
the size of a hamster. All ten would easily fit in a small moving
box. My duck provider said these ducks were younger, she said they
would fit in a cat carrier. Naturally, I thought I knew what a duck
looked like, Hailey’s bathroom has rubber duckies all over the
place. All ducks are small, yellow and squeak if you squeeze them.

The plan: pick up the ducks after work, go by the house and get
Brianna and Hailey, drive out to the farm and drop off the ducks.

Reality: the ducks are bigger than I expected. They are the size of
our cat with a much longer neck. Two ducks will just fit into a banker
box. Rubber bands must be used to make sure the ducks don’t push off
the lid. Both banker boxes fit on the back seat of my car safely
snuggled between the side panel and the car seat.

The ducks look like the ducks in the illustrations of the children’s
book [_The Story About Ping_][1] except they are not yellow. There are
two dark green ducks, and two mostly white ducks. They have long
necks, large wings, and webbed feet. I do not think these ducks can
fly. The ducks are quite vocal when they are unhappy. The ducks were
very unhappy to be stuck in a dark banker box in the back of the
car. Ducks smell badly. Imagine the smell of the penguin cage at the
zoo. Now imagine that my car has just become the penguin cage. I
rolled down all the windows, called Brianna and told her she would
have to meet me. I’m going straight to the farm.

It is now 4:50 pm, I am at 183 and Mopac. I need to go south, way
south.I have smelly, loud ducks, a stick shift, open windows, and
traffic. Mopac isn’t moving. From the back of my car I hear
[quack-quack-quack][2], NPR and and the AC on max seems to calm them
down a little. After an hour of bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic,
and [quack-quack-quack][3], I am in South Austin and can finally
accelerate out of 2nd gear. I am confident that any minute the ducks
will break free from their containers and I will have to fend for my
life at 60 MPH on highway 290. I reach back and put my laptop across
the two lids just in-case.

At the farm we arrange to use one of the chicken coops as a new duck
home. I spread some hay in the corner for a roost, we put some food
and water down and then let the ducks out of the boxes. They are not
hurt but they are not happy either. They walk together in a mob. They
look like penguins or bowling pins or a mixture of both.

After about five minutes of [quack-quack-quack][4] the alpha rooster,
who looks like “little Jerry Seinfeld” comes strutting from the back
of the yard to the front of this duck coop to investigate. He struts
back and forth with frequent cock-a-doodle-doos. The ducks do not seem

In theory, Sassy is a dog. She barks and she chews on bones. In
reality she is about the size of a 5lb bag of sugar or a medium sized
city sewer rat. She thinks that she rules the yard. She came running
over to see the ducks as soon as she heard the quacking. She would
look through the fence from the front, then run around to look through
the fence from the back. I can’t wait to see how she acts when the
ducks are turned loose to roam the yard.As night fall approached and
“little Jerry Seinfeld” deemed the situation was safe, the other
chickens began to come near the ducks.Eventually as it got darker the
chickens went to their coop which is on the back side of the duck coop
and settled in for the night.

The ducks found their water and their food and seemed happy. Once
again it was quite in the country

[1]: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0140502416/qid=1078977328/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/102-2905972-2612147?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
[2]: /wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2004/03/quack.mp3 (The sounds of unhappy ducks)
[3]: /wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2004/03/quack.mp3 (The sounds of unhappy ducks)
[4]: /wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2004/03/quack.mp3 (The sounds of unhappy ducks)