I just love Pekin ducks. They are absolutely the funniest, raunchiest and rowdiest ducks ever!
Two years ago, our little colony of Pekins was down to just two males - “Mr. Whiney”, so called because the recently deceased Mrs. Whiney just whined and complained all the time, and “Ghostie”, a Rouen male, who, notwithstanding his heritage and the difference in his coloring, considered himself to be Pekin. Ghostie loved nothing more than to sprawl out on the grass, not moving a muscle, silently watching the world go by. That is until a girl innocently waddled by. Then, like a bolt of lightening, Ghostie was on the move, chasing her all over the yard.
I can’t tell you the number of times I truly thought Ghostie had expired. He would just lay on the grass with his head drooping in the most bizarre position. I’d walk over with a great deal of trepidation to check him out. Sometimes I would stand over him for minutes really believing he was dead until I’d see one eye ever so slowly open and then ever so slowly shut as he realized it was only me and not some tempting sweet thing.
That spring as every male duck’s heart - amongst other things - turned to thoughts of love on the lawn, Ghostie and Mr. Whiney chased each other all along the dock, all along the lawn, everywhere. I think they just kept hoping one of them would suddenly reincarnate into another Mrs. Whiney.
Totally frustrated, they even tried to whisper sweet nothings into the Muscovy girls’ ears but they not only got challenged by the powerful Muscovy males but the girls jumped on their backs, biting them, berating them and otherwise beating them up, not to mention the awful things the girls were doing to their very sensitive male egos!
After watching their shenanigans for a few days, it wasn’t too hard to persuade my husband to take me out east to a duck farm to buy some new friends for them. It was quite an experience! I suppose that not too many people go to a duck farm nowadays to buy ducks to eat let alone to buy girlfriends for their male ducks. However, the owner of the duck farm was very enthusiastic, and he promised to pick out some beauties for the boys, which he did - two all white, two black and whites and two beiges with some purple feathers.
Getting them home was a challenge. We used an old crate from the duck farm and began our “journey” home. At this point in time, I realized just how much my husband loved me. Our ’journey” only took about thirty minutes, but, it seemed like thirty hours. I can’t describe the awful smell in our Jeep - and that was with all the windows wide open!
Home at last! I put the girls in the middle of the backyard, still in the crate, and let them get used to their new friends. After an hour or so, I opened the crate and waited for them to come out. They took a while but finally one by one out they came. What one did all five others did. They were like a wave. Mr. Whiney and Ghostie and the Muscovies all seemed terrified of them. Everyone ran away. The girls just happily quacked and waddled everywhere - except near the water - all in a line, all doing the same thing, always together. If one drank water all six did; if one ate cracked corn, all six did; if one decided to nap, all six did; if one ran over a sleeping duck, all six did. It was then that I nicknamed them “the dopies” (as in dumb).
After a couple of weeks, the other ducks became less afraid of the dopies and the dopies, in turn, became less afraid of the water. Finally, one day I saw them jump, although it seemed more like they tripped on one of the cleats on the dock and then fell into the creek. But their duck instincts finally kicked in and they really enjoyed their swim, happily quacking and splashing and preening and ducking under the water and then flapping their wings wildly as they practically stood on top of the water. I could almost see the smiles on their funny little faces!
Up until now, Mr. Whiney and Ghostie had not only totally ignored the girls, but they actually ran away from them. But now that the girls were cavorting in the creek, the gleam was back in ole Mr. Whiney’s and Ghostie’s eyes, for they both liked nothing better than long romantic days or nights on the water. They knew they were faster in the water and, of course, much better swimmers than the girls who were just your basic "beginner duck" swimmers. Mr. Whiney and Ghostie, much to the dismay of the girls, very easily caught up to them and out-maneuvered them. But the girls learned very quickly - and they suddenly began to realize that there were six of them! And they used this fact to their advantage. After all the quacking and wild splashing stopped, I'd see an exhausted Mr. Whiney and Ghostie sound asleep on the dock and six wide-awake girls happily and peacefully swimming and playing in the creek.
Even on the land, things were no different for the girls. Mr. Whiney and Ghostie relentlessly chased them everywhere. All I heard were loud complaining quacks from the girls and the pitter-patter of duck feet all over the dock as the boys constantly chased them. They cared not who or what, was in their way! They trampled my flowers, ran through my shrubs, hid behind my flowerpots. It was all to no avail. They rarely ever escaped the clutches of Ghostie or Mr. Whiney.
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