Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Duck Duck Goose

Aug 1, 2007: DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE Once upon a time there were 3 ducks. OK, to be truthful, there were 6 ducks but most of them didn't stick around for long. We originally purchased 6 ducks to help us train a couple of goose dogs but when the first 3 were left alone to enjoy their new pond - they left. I don't know if they waddled the long walk to Tyrell lake (a couple of acres away) or what, but I'm sure they've gone down in pet duck lore as the ones that escaped to freedom.Anyway, so now we were down to 3. I was more careful with these and made sure they were comfortable in their new surroundings before I left them without supervision. They were a happy trio and went everywhere together that summer. They swam all day and then learned to walk to the barn at night to get their dinner. All was well until the pond froze... When the temperature dropped and the snow started, I ushered them into the barn for shelter, but when I came out the next morning, there was only one. Sometime during the night they had wandered back out to their beloved frozen pond and were eaten by a fox or stray dog when they couldn't get back into the saftey of the water.

The remaining duck was in a state of shock. He was clearly depressed and spent the rest of the winter alone,huddling under his heat lamp in the barn or swimming when the pond unfroze. When the spring came, he seemed to enjoy the company of the wild ducks that came to visit so we decided to get him a buddy during the summer.

Enter the goose. Bought at an auction where we were selling our sheep we eagerly let him out to swim in his first pond and meet the duck. Unfortunately, we had just bought the only goose in Western Canada who didn't like to swim. He wanted to follow me or most often, the sheep. I put him in the water and he'd panic and run back to the sheep.

Finally, I locked him and the duck in the barn together. The duck was so happy. I came in the next morning to find them cuddling. Would it work? Had the goose imprinted on the duck enough to try to swim? I herded them out to the water and... success! He's not very good at it, but he swims! And they all lived happily ever after. The End