i awoke this morning at daylight to the sound of our two baby ducks partying down, running busily around their wooden box, feet slapping the sawdust. they were practicing their feeding technique by vibrating their tiny beaks in the water dish, against the rocks, and generally all around the box. the sound was similar to a vibrating phone on a wood table in a puddle of water. it was an ecstatic and busy sound, that plus their squeaky chirps met by the morning cacophony of birds outside on the feeders. i imagined they could hear those wild birds, wondering what the heck might lie outside the comfort of their little wooden infrared-lit interior abode. the ducks were busy for an hour solid. after their workout they snuggled in the corner to take a nap. i went back to sleep too, drifting off to memories of the first phone call from james, i rescued two baby ducks, he said, ducks tinier than the palm of my hand, ducks with their eyes not open yet that came in a box full of dead ducks, ducks that might not make it. it is a tiny miracle, watching them grow visibly, by leaps and bounds, every day.
today was cleaning day for their duck box. they poop an awful lot so we have to clean it almost every other day. it just so happened to be sunny warm and beautiful, so we decided to give them a taste of what's to come: the outdoors. we made a little chicken wire corral in the wettest part of the yard and let them waddle around. at first they were scared, and squawked awfully loud, but i got right in there with them, and made them feel more comfortable with a little food scratch scattered about. then, i picked them up to showed them where the puddles were. they got right to it, instinctually dipping their beaks in the mud, sifting around for snacks. i must say, watching them do what ducks do in their first moments out-of-doors, i was a proud mama duck, squatting there in the mud.