What the Duck...?

Photo By  Marilyn Peddle

Early this morning, a female mallard duck walked out of the woods behind my house. She waddled toward my deck. About, twenty feet behind her, her drake cautiously stepped out of the woods to follow her. My house backs to a heavily wooded area that includes a salt marsh creek. Every year, as far back as I can remember. a mated pair of mallard ducks has nested along the still waters of the creek, which usually flows only at a trickle. I am pretty sure that these two ducks are descendants of a long line of those creek ducks. So, what's up duck?

I noticed that she waddled purposefully. Her drake was very cautious. He looked from side-to-side, and sometimes up, to make sure that a red-tailed hawk was not diving down to get him. By the way, he should do that, because a red-tailed hawk includes my backyard in his hunting territory. He is why the few squirrels that we have are very young. Anyway, I think that the title of my article could be "A Pregnant Duck Walked Into My Backyard." My wife noticed me staring out the kitchen window, so she came over to happily discover the pair of ducks. After she marveled at the sight of them and scored some fine cell phone photographs, I told her that I won't be cutting the lawn in the backyard anymore.

She took those as fighting words, so I had to explain that the hen intended to place her nest under the rhododendrons at the corner of the deck, or perhaps she will get past the deck underpinning to place the nest under the deck. In either case, our noisy sweet-gum ball chucking lawn mower would frighten the duck and her family. My wife didn't accept this explanation, so I conjured a mental picture of lawn mower versus yellow downy-feathered ducklings, to which she responded: "What ducks?"

They were out of sight. It took awhile for us to find them. We didn't want to go outside, so we moved about the house to peek out windows. They were in the front yard. As before, the hen took the lead. The drake followed her out of our yard, and into the cul-de-sac. They were heading for the main street in our neighborhood! My wife got upset. She wanted me to do something about this. She reminded me that we had read neighborhood association reports of geniuses driving their SUV's down that road while texting. I remembered that I owned a duck call!

I was pretty sure that it was a mallard duck call. It took me way too long to find it. I bounded down our stairs with it. My wife was frantic. She had the front door open, and she pointed to the ducks, who had already wandered into the street! Boldly, I stepped onto our front porch, and with such skill that I have, I blew mallard messages with the duck call. I did that about a dozen times. All of my cul-de-sac neighbors came out of their houses. They all stared at me. I don't think any of them saw the ducks, who had crossed the road and were well into the opposite cul-de-sac. My wife said, "Well, I guess you'll have to mow the lawn after all.


Tony is a writer, an author of several published novels, and an independent publisher. In September 2012, he wrote and published the first of a three-book drama series, "A Voice from New Mill Creek: The Methodists," as an e-book. In April, 2013, he released his second e-book and first romance novel, "Goodnight Paige." In July, 2013, Tony released a guidebook titled "How Tony Wrote and Published Two Novels." In May 2014, he published "The Star of India, "the second novel in the Voice From New Mill Creek drama series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICK8qpv0a30

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