Ducks are intuitive, intelligent, calculating, confident, and stubborn. Like parrots. I have relationships with most of my ducks, growing relationships with the rest, and offered a relationship for the outliers. I speak Muscovy duck conversationally with flair. I've been able to get the twang of mallard and the slang of pekin.
The LaFollett B&B Rest Stop services have brought them all together. The pekins have realized if they stop with the melee and assaults, they can join in the feast. The Muscovy are thankful and open. Mr. and Mrs. Quaker Mallards have grown confident in me and themselves. Mrs. Quaker will force a dozen Muscovy to make way for her at dinner service. Mr. Quaker follows apologizing for his wife's rudeness.
Sonya, arrived three days ago with her new clutch. She's a second year LBBRS customer. She'll eat out of my yellow bowl. She will sit on my foot while eating. No one will mess with a duck eating while sitting on my foot. She's figured that out. She's taught her brood who I am. She's taught them who all others are not. This morning she sat hovered over her hatchlings, eyeing me through the window.
Since weirdo neighborling blew his gasket, threatened them all with death, and put up his impotent fence of PVC, I have modified feedings. To eliminate having to talk to him and ensure a lake full of ducks stays a lake full of ducks.
LBBRSwest customers caught onto the modifications within two meals. Sonya stays behind the barbarian horde for the safety of her brood. Better to follow than lead. She's the last to eat in the morning and evening. She's also the only one giving me the hairy eye through the window. The rest know I'll be around the corner after feeding the LBBRSeast extension. I use the full length of the side yard on the south side of the driveway. They assume I won't forget. A safe assumption in any feathered brain.
Sonya brought her ducklings near the porch this morning. They puddled on Kirby's gravesite. She ate from the yellow bowl I held tipped for her, while telling me her latest "mom issues". Kids won't listen. Not getting enough sleep. Kids won't listen. Jason Jr. disappeared for an hour getting lost behind the neighbor's garbage can. Kids! Her puddle of peepers popped up, then dropped down randomly, inside their tight circle of safety. Peeping with each pop.
Muscovy ducks take advantage of homeowners watering lawns. After dining at the LBBRS customers make their way to the curbs to have a bath and an after dinner drink. Sonya is no exception. She does choose the length of runoff water with no other ducks. Naps are taken in yards with the best shade trees. Duck dispersal into the neighborhood follows.
They have their reasons. They have their preferences. They have their voices and ideas. They had me at hello.