One of the ducks, Sophia, has been sitting on a nest for what seems like forever (certainly before Good Friday) and we all had begun to think that this was goingto be another dud nest. Over the past five years that we have been keeping ducks, the Runner in particular have tried and failed. However this little duck has dodgily sat through rain storms and freezing temperatures, never wavering in her maternal instinct to keep those eggs warm.
Hope had begun to fade as it was a bit over the four week period, but yesterday we hauled out the baby bath just in case. We thought a trip down to the ponds might be a bit much for newly hatched ducklings. And going across the bridge was going to be difficult.
It fell to me (when doesn't it fall to me?) to change the baby bath water. I heard Sophia quacking but thought not much of it. It was a quiet I am here sort of quack. The other four ducks were hualled out on the lawn.
I started forward, intending to empty the bath first and try to avoid getting my feet wet.
Out of the corner of my eyes I saw them. Little balls of black and yellow fluff, gathered around their proud mother. I blinked and tried to count and then ran inside to telephone my husband. Eight I thought.
Then I decided they needed food and more than likely clean water and of course they ought to get used to me.
Not eight but about twenty ducklings took after their mother and headed for the nest.
What are we going to do with 20 ducklings? They should grow into pretty ducks as the drake is pure East Indian Runner and the mother is a mixture of East Indian runner and a few other things.