The Missus was going to name her boy ducks Donald and Daffy, until I explained that high-priced Disney lawyers would cover her with so many writs she’d never be able to feed her ducks again.
Hence she named them Dicky and Dashing Duck.
Dicky’s wife’s is Dancy.
This is because the Blog’s Missus likes alliteration, and this lady duck likes to wiggle her bootie a LOT. (“Like they do in Grease”, the Missus says).
Dashing Duck does not have a Missus, but, without wanting to start rumors, he appears to be crushing on Dancy. In fact, he played an active role in the, uhm, “loud and quacky courtship” of Dicky and Dancy, if you get our drift, which prompted Dashing’s Duck’s then girlfriend to fly the coop.
It should be obvious by now that the Blog’s Missus has had a real thing for these wild ducks, which is new territory.
We’ve had ducks stop by our semi-rural home over the years. A few sort of moved in to our front yard a few years ago, until the Blog made a terrible decision to encourage the Crack Puppy and the visiting Bichon to be “friends” with said ducks.
(Go HERE if you want a detailed report on the carnage. Lawsy, lawsy, lawsy).
The new ducks sort of dropped in one day to enjoy the table scraps the Missus had thrown into our smallish back yard, which rolls down into a large primordial jungle.
My quirky, artistic Missus, who is always up to something, started to put bread into the backyard every night.
Funnily enough, Dicky and Dancy and Dashing Ducks started to show up every afternoon at exactly 4.30p.m. You could set your watch by it.
They’d thud on the roof, like bags of wet cement, and then quack.
A lot. At increasing volume. For several minutes. Just to make sure the Missus knew to throw out more bread.
At some point, Dicky the Alpha Duck would give his Missus the high sign, and Dancy would loudly flap her way down to dinner, and serious bootie-shaking.
This went on for several days before Dicky decided to come to dinner, too.
By then, the Blog’s Missus had upgraded the duck food from basic slices of white bread, to five-grain wheat bread from the bakery. Even though the Missus is extremely frugal, when it comes to animals and hobbies, she tends to lose her mind.
The ducks knew they were onto a sweet deal, so, in addition to the 4.30pm dinner call, they started showing up for breakfast.
At seven fricken thirty in the a.m.
QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!
And the Blog’s Missus would lovingly feed them.
She would ensure the late Moosedawg’s big red bowl had fresh water so her ducks could dunk their five-grain bread.
And she would sit totally still in her official Duck Watching Chair in the back yard, observing the ducks with her trained artistic eye; noting every feather, every behavior, every eccentricity.
Soon, the ducks realized she was one of them.
So they’d waddle all around her, quacking to her, and the Missus would quack back.
Eventually they started taking bread right out of her hand.
A Facebook friend advised that it was a bad idea to feed ducks bread because it could actually starve them to death — lots of bulk but very little nutrition
The Missus was horrified, so she apologized to the ducks and quickly went to the store to buy the finest grain to be had.
The ducks really like the grain.
Surprisingly, they are not as keen on leftover pasta, which the Missus insisted on giving them.
It all turned out okay because, turns out, some of the dozens of birds who now dine with us like pasta.
The Daily Duck Report
As you might expect, the main topic of conversation in our home is now duck-related.
Until you get grandkids, what are you going to talk about? And there is a lot for the Missus to talk about.
She is Singaporean by birth, and snoopy by habit. Nothing, and we mean NOTHING, escapes her eye.
Her thoroughness has almost given me a heart attack on several occasions.
This is because the Blog’s home office, the bathroom, and our back deck are the triangulation points she uses for her stealth observation and photography.
She moves silently, like a ninja shadow, and can sit silently and motionless for hours, behind me, looking out the window.
Because when the Blog is in the writing zone, we remove our hearing aids and become oblivious to the world.
Fight or Flight
After we switch back on, in the micro-second it takes our brain to determine whether the shadow immediately behind us is a ninja or the Missus, our heart stops beating.
At which point the Missus begins to broadcast her latest edition of The Daily Duck Report.
The report always begins with “IT IS SO INTERESTING,” and then, for up to an hour, the Missus goes all David Attenborough.
“Did you know ducks eat slugs. They are so good for my garden!”
“I think Dancy is pregnant. She has been eating so much, and she’s been going into the back bushes looking for a place to nest. I have not seen her for two days.”
“Dicky is so fierce! When another female came into the yard, he was like, ZOOM, biting at her tailfeathers and chasing her into the woods.”
The ever-watchful Missus has even figured out the secrets to Duck Aviation.
“Look,” she says, dragging me to the window.
“They’re getting read to leave. You see? They stretch their necks up and look into the wind; Dancy will take a few steps back, waiting for Dicky’s signal, and then they’ll fly away through that gap in the trees.”
And, just as the Missus says, her ducks do exactly that.
The sleuthful Missus says her super close-up photos prove that each duck’s feathers are as unique as fingerprints.
That may be increasingly important for identification and crowd control, because word is getting out on the streets that there is always food at Chez Missus.
Tonight, after walking the dogs, the Blog was going to relax in the official duck-watching chair while the Missus was making people food.
Just then, a big female duck zoomed overhead, flapping and quacking like crazy and almost decapitating us.
She then started aggressively waddling right at the blog, quacking her head off.
“Don’t just stand there, FEED ME” was the general tone of her quacking.
The Missus advised this is a new duck.
“Oh yes, that’s a new one. She is very loud and bossy and she preens a lot.”
We’ve decided to call her D’Oprah Duck.