You've probably heard me boast about young D's very special duck, Pickle. He was a real gentleman among ducks, and sometimes used to spend the first hour after breakfast rearranging his ladyships' nest, carrying each stalk of hay back up the ramp down which it had slipped and placing it into the duck house where it belonged. He came when called, heeled on command, and treated D with the affection due to her. She deserves the credit: she spent hours with him every day in his early months, and he was as tame as could be. He was also loved by his two wives, Junebug and Princess Dewdrop, and they have been quacking dejectedly and looking everywhere for him since he went away.
Earlier this week, Pickle disappeared out of our fenced (but uncovered) daytime poultry yard. We suspect fowl play, pun intended: that is, we suspect that he was stolen by a bird of prey.
Hawks have to eat too, I suppose, though I wish they'd eat tofurkey! Poor D is grief-stricken, and the human parents are sad and a bit guilty about the whole thing. Of all the birds in the yard, Pickle was the most adored. While we wouldn't wish his fate on any of our feathered friends, it's a particularly tragic twist that it was he to disappear.
Rest in Peace, Pickle. You won't be forgotten.