Hillbilly Zen – All We Are Is Ducks In The Wind

 

They came to me as gangly, fuzzy little yellow nuisances.   I didn’t want them – I was only supposed to serve as the chauffeur for the last leg of their journey to new homes.   A friend’s daughter had used them as living props for her photography business during the Easter season, and her father asked me if I would be interested in adopting them.   I told him no thanks, I already had way too many animals and couldn’t take them, but I’d find folks who could.   When you own a farm, you become a sort of clearinghouse for critters, and I knew some people who would give them good homes.

This act of kindness became only slightly less of a logistical nightmare than say, invading Normandy.   It was for the sake of critters, though, and baby critters at that, so there was no way I could refuse to help.   At last the deal was struck; willing owners were found, meeting places mapped out, date and time of the transfers scheduled, pickups and deliveries arranged.

Pimping Poultry

Twelve chicks and twelve ducklings in varying states of hysteria arrived in the back of a mini-van, and were unloaded, unboxed, and doled out to their new families.   They were then re-boxed, reloaded and off they went.   Except, that is, for those last six little ducks, one of who was blind in one eye.   They were riding with me to some friends’ nearby farm.   I would drop them off and my part in the Great Poultry Pass-Off of 2007 would be done.

It was a long drive home.   The poor little things were totally freaked out by this time, and I did my best to soothe them in a calm, quiet, Mr. Rogers voice, telling them that they were going to love their new home and their new owners.   They weren’t buying it, and kept trying to flap out of the box.   This proved quite a challenge to my hand-eye coordination at times, to say the least, but we managed to finally make it to the home stretch.

I called ahead to alert their new owners that we were on the way, only to be told they wouldn’t be home for several hours. By now, some of the ducklings were becoming lethargic, and knowing they hadn’t been fed or watered all day, I worried about the lack of nourishment on such little bodies.   Okay, I thought, we’ll make a pit stop at my house and I’ll give them some food and water, they can rest a little, and I’ll take them on down to my friends’ farm later that evening.

A New Act Joins The Circus

My critters provided their usual exuberant welcome when I got home, the dogs meeting me at the gate like they hadn’t seen me in years, jumping and barking and sniffing and vying for my attention.   Several of the cats typically join the welcoming committee, and Toonces, named after the cat in the old SNL sketch, likes to jump in the truck and ride with me down the driveway.   This usually makes me smile, reminding me how glad I am to be home.   It did this time, too, but it also roused the ducklings to renew their shrill peeping and fluttering escape attempts.   I must have looked like some sort of deranged ringmaster trying to get back into the truck, holding off the dogs and preventing a very persistent cat from jumping into the middle of the box full of baby ducks.  Getting from the truck to the house was equally festive, but at last the ducklings were safe inside.

After laying down plastic and newspapers in the half-bathroom, I tipped the box slightly and the weary little ducklings tumbled onto the floor.  Laughing as I watched them stretch their tiny wings and jostle for position around the water bowl, I wondered what in the world I was going to feed them.  I finally decided to cook them some oatmeal, and after some initial confusion they gobbled it up and promptly fell asleep.  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen sleeping baby ducks, but they should be pictured in the dictionary beside the word “cute”.

I still had every intention of giving the ducklings to my friends.  Really, I did.  Then I noticed that the little half-blind one would cock it’s head and swivel around so it could see me when I spoke, weaving slightly back and forth as it peeped a reply.  It reminded me of Stevie Wonder, so I laughed and crooned “Hey, little Stevie…”  Realizing what I’d just done, I clapped my hand over my mouth in dismay, and anyone who has ever rescued a stray critter knows why – it’s nearly impossible to relinquish an animal once you’ve named him or her.  The ducklings were here to stay.

Duck Therapy

I’ve come to realize that keeping those little varmints was one of the best decisions I ever made.  They are the undisputed comedians of the farm, never failing to make me laugh.  I don’t know where that expression “Like a duck takes to water” came from, but whoever coined it had obviously never tried to teach baby ducks to swim.  Sitting beside their pool has become a favorite way to relax in the summer, watching their aquatic antics and giggling like a fool.

Watching then during a storm is funny too, but there’s a lesson in the laughter.  They take obvious delight in the pandemonium, facing the turbulent wind and driving rain head-on, extending their wings and quacking loudly.  It’s as if they’re daring the storm to defeat them, absorbing the energy and reveling in it.  They take something scary and negative and turn it into a test of will and perseverance.  When it’s all blown over and everyone is accounted for, they congratulate each other with smug little peeps and quacks and go on with their day.

They’ve got the right idea, I think.  Like the old Kansas song says, “…nothin’ lasts forever but the earth and sky.”  In the grand scheme of things, we’re only here for a short time, every moment counts, and those moments slip away quickly.  Face adversity with a fierce resolve to beat it, learn what you can from it, then go splash around in the pool for a while.

I taught my ducks how to swim, but they taught me how to fly.  And now that y’all will be humming that song for the rest of the day, my work here is done.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fairytaleepidemic
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 00:13:10

    I bet they were so friggin’ adorable >.< Lucky duck. No pun intended.

    Reply

    • hillbillyzen13
      Jan 08, 2013 @ 08:53:06

      Thanks for my first smile of the morning, chicklet…and yes, they were friggin’ adorable. I highly recommend having ducks around if at all possible. They’re very Zen and incredibly funny little creatures.

      Reply

  2. likeitiz
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 00:16:24

    I enjoyed reading your post. It’s hard to turn your back to them, once they have chosen you.

    Thanks for dropping by. I hope to see you around the blogosphere!

    Reply

    • hillbillyzen13
      Jan 09, 2013 @ 00:21:08

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. You’re absolutely right, once you’re “Mama”, you’re in for the long haul. Thank you for dropping by, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Contizental

500 words or less

the_tovarysh_connection

Gentle Reminders

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

Jnana's Red Barn

A Space for Work and Reflection

smilecalm

Life through mindful media

Just A Crazy Dreamer

Simply sharing my craziness & hoping its infectious enough to spread

All Romance Reads

Get Your Swoon On

Tipsy Lit

the publishing imprint of author ericka clay

Ericka Clay

poet and author

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

Waggin' The Tale

Love Stories About Dogs

The Good, Bad and Ludicrous

Examining the Ordinary and Extraordinary

THE COASTAL CRONE

Tales, Trails & Connections to Almost Anything

the wind horse blog

horse tales, heart songs, healing

Apple Pie and Napalm

music lover, truth teller, homey philosophy

jhubner73

Midwestern groaning since 2011

Me and the Boss 2013

Motivation and life......lived and loved one day at a time.

Sufey

Inhale Joy, Exhale Gratitude

Automattic

Making the web a better place

All These Horrors and more

NOTES ON A DISINTEGRATING WORLD

Moments of Zen

A Student of Nature

1pointperspective

NOT just another WordPress.com site

Geo Sans

“right answer, wrong question”

Shoeful of Drool

Adventures of Louie and his friends

Likeitiz

Do come and chat with me about life's twists and turns. We will laugh, cry, question, commiserate, disagree, but in the end, we will become friends.

seapunk2

MUSINGS & AMUSINGS

rachelmankowitz

The Cricket Pages

dlightblog

non potete fare affidamento sui vostri occhi se la vostra immaginazione è fuori fuoco (mark twain)

Radical Totality

an experimental creative laboratory by Mark Snyder

mlewisredford

almost indefatigable and quietly militant naïveté ...

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing seeds for the Kingdom

Humbled Pie

Southern Livin' and Travelin', mostly photographed with some Home Cookin' and only slightly embellished Storytellin'

Wandering through Time and Place

Exploring the world with Curtis and Peggy Mekemson

Kristen Lamb's Blog

We Are Not Alone

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Masako and Spam Musubi

Short Stories about World War II. One war. Two Countries. One Family

Army Of Awesome People

Named by Google as one of the sites on the internet

Janna Hill

Just living outloud and flinging cake against the wall...

Mythic Bios

Writing weird stories, strange articles, creative reviews, and learning along the way. Expect updates every Monday or Thursday.

lovinchelle

LIVING LIFE AND TAKING PICS ALONG THE WAY.

undeaddad

explorations of mindful fatherhood

bussokuseki

fatherhood, zen, and the buddha's footprints in an everyday life

%d bloggers like this: