In an effort to over compensate well, I stalked Simone and her babies still foraging in the freshly mowed field. The first two days after mowing there's good stuff out there for ducks to eat. The cut grass leaves bugs exposed, soils open for slurping grubs and roots, with an easier path forward.
I counted heads, seven peeping ducklings, and went back in the house to toss finely chopped romaine lettuce. Not the stuff the piggles eat. The part Leonidas finds offensive, the soft deep green leaves that seem almost off. Secret sauce recipe; cockatiel leftovers of grain loaf, finely mulled by hand, cast off cockatiel mix and finely chopped cucumber skins from my own cucumber water creating. Mix that in a bowl with the romaine lettuce. You get a crumbling goodness fit for little bills. Over Compensation dial set at 11!
Simone sees me coming over and tells the kids to wait there. They huddle in a puddle lowering themselves to become an even harder target to spot. Nature is impressive. Simone waddles over and peeps a hello with a tail wag. We discuss yesterday's event.
"I still can't believe what happened to Tyler and Miranda!"
"Yes, I'm still outraged myself!"
"Thank you for rescuing them. I had my wings full with Tommy, Theresa, Humbert, Cynthia, and Barry. You saved the day for us. What's in the bowl?"
Ducks, no matter the amount of gratitude they feel, waste no time when there's a meal. A tail wag will state their appreciation and get to the business of food. Best to move forward agreeably.
"I have BabyDucks! Breakfast Mash."
She turned around and walked toward Tyler, Miranda, Tommy, Theresa, Humbert, Cynthia, and Barry. I didn't move as I wasn't sure I had been invited in that direction. Never assume a thing when dealing with a mother duck. She looked over her shoulder toward me and at the yellow bowl in my hands.
"Are you coming? We have to be lakeside by 10 am. And we haven't foraged near the fences yet."
Nothing about this feels abnormal. I jump start my walk behind her, pause a few feet away as she releases her brood to ramble about.
I carefully toss everything in different directions so the kids have room to fit each other at any time.
Stupid Pony is at the fence waiting for the squirrels, ignoring me and the ducks. He appreciates the hand feeding because sooner or later the squirrels will investigate what the ducks leave behind.
Back in the house I find Felix head down and inside his food bowl shoveling his way to the bottom. Without looking up, "*Fart Sound* See the birdie? I want some dinner."
Felix doesn't care what level of compensation he receives as long as it happens on time.