Lucky Duck?

Well, I had just decided that I was going to retire this blog, since not much is happening and yet I feel pressured to make at least weekly entries, when what do you know? Something happened to write about. So Mississippi is reprieved for this week, at least.

It’s Sunday morning and I awoke full of professorial virtue and determined that I should walk to school and get ahead on my end of semester grading. I live across the street from campus and about 1/2 a block from my office building, and as the weather is a balmy 32 degrees, I decided to walk outside rather than simply cross the street and enter the forum, which runs underground and connects with my building. We will call this Lucky Ducky coincidence #1.

I was almost to my office when I passed a female mallard duck, hanging out in a sheltered corner and dragging a wing. Well. I would have left her alone had she appeared sick in any way, but she seemed healthy and I have a very soft heart for animals (Lucky Ducky #2). So I caught her, which was fairly easy because she was obviously tired/hurt and because, having owned parrots for 15 years now, I know how to catch and hold a bird without hurting it (Lucky Ducky #3). I turned right around and carried the duck home, knowing that in my living room was a roomy cardboard box that my recent Land’s End order arrived in, all empty and open so the cats could play in it (Lucky Ducky #4). But that’s not all: I wouldn’t have done any of the above had I not known that my office mate and fellow English prof and her husband are even more soft-hearted than I — their farm is home to 3 stray dogs and 20+ stray cats that they’ve taken in and, yes, 6 ducks they bought this summer. So after boxing the duck, I called them. Lucky Ducky#5: they said to bring the duck on down.

At the farm I was able to check out the duck more fully; she seemed quite healthy but her wing is definitely broken at the shoulder. There did not seem to be any blood. We put her in the pen with the 6 domestic ducks, ready to pull her out again if violence ensued. But the other ducks didn’t seem to mind a bit, and the injured duck settled right down among them. She’s about half their size, which was funny to see, but she seemed happy to find some friendly bills.

So the duck is taken care of. I took the entire incidence as a sign that, rather than working today, I should hang out at home and address Xmas cards and wrap presents. And my friends at the farm are probably sorry they ever gave me their phone number or showed me where they lived.


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