The mother duck has been sitting for and 28 days. Ducklings are said to hatch between 25-29 days so we’re expecting babies today and are checking regularly for the big event. I’m reminded of the afternoon we sat by the lake and watched as a Wood Duck swam by with all her new babies behind except the 3 that sat right on her back as she swam.
This morning the sitting duck was making a bit of a fuss from her nest, hissing while we tended to feed and water. When I checked back, one egg had been discarded. One soft egg, partially cracked open.
I assumed lost cause and was preparing to bury little eggshell filled duck up the road with the little black chicken that I loved so much but Dilys first pulled out the hair dryer, peeled back the rest of the shell and there was the perfect little creature. The little duckling that almost was. While she tried to revive, Dilys told stories of other animals that have come back to life after a little warming from a hairdryer or a sit in a warm oven. But not this little one.
Memories of blow drying newborn goats in a Maine blizzard came flooding back to me. Most of these creatures thriving thanks to a little human care. There were the goats born in the middle of the night that almost froze to death but were taken into the house and soaked in a warm bath inside plastic bags. Most of them made it. Resilient creatures.