May 31 – Friday evening our son David was driving to Branson to join his wife Darla and their daughter Beckie. Since he just about always phones us when he is walking his daily five miles, when the phone rang, we knew it must be David. It was. For the next half hour, we exchanged bits of news and our plans. Since the front door was open, I could see lights in the homes of our neighbors at the end of the road. Several cars drove past too. Just a typical Friday evening. Or was it!Suddenly I saw something that WASN’T really typical. Some kind of bird, but not a wild one. It looked like a duck, a grown-up white duck which had taken over the corner of the front porch where it must have felt safe. I had no idea where it had come from. When I wanted Dale to see the duck, I yelled pretty loudly since he was on another phone way back in one bedroom. As he was coming to see the sight, I quickly ran to get my camera. As usual when something is new or moving, I always take some fast pictures. Then it’s OK to stop and get some better poses!
By the time I had taken about five or six pictures, Dale was still on the phone. That’s the first time I have ever hung up on our son! I know he understood. Dale told me that David was really enjoying the conversation about that duck and that he would tell the rest of the family a good story about it.Before we went to bed, we stopped out to see the duck. I don’t know if he lost his way and didn’t know how to get home, or if he enjoyed being away from his family if he had one. The next morning, there on the porch right in the same place sat a sleepy duck! Before we went off to church, Dale brought a bowl of water, and broken-up bread for the bird. We wondered if Duck would still be there on the porch when we returned.
He was! But so was the food we tried to get him to enjoy! Before we ate our dinner, we tried to keep the duck happy. A bigger bowl of water, cut up apple, and some canned corn kernels. Our neighbor Bob told us that Joe, the neighbor across the road from him had ducks, five or six of them. Looks to me as if he now has only four or five as “our” duck now boards here! Dale tried to reach Joe three times but got only the answering machine. Maybe he was visiting somewhere over Memorial Day holiday.==LATER==
Joe just phoned to say that he would be over after a bit to pick up Duck! He didn’t know Duck had lived at our house for several days. Joe came with two big long-handled fishing nets and just swooped them down over Duck and caught him first try. Into his four-wheeler with the open top went both the duck and the net, and off they were up the road to let Duck visit with his friends again.
Several days ago, I cleared the weeds and grass from around the front of the porch. The duck must have wondered what was going on because he watched now and again from the porch. Since the daffodils have lost all their blooms and the plants look shaggy and unkempt, I folded the tops down, and put a rubber band halfway to the ground. Great! Yesterday I wondered what both the duck and the cat were eating, enjoying a treat, just chewing up those daffodils!In the beginning Duck never quacked, not at all. Often as Dale and I would sit out on the porch, the bird would stand in front of us staring with his beady eyes. I talked to him as I do to our cat, even using little phrases like, “Oh, you’re a good little kitty. Yes, you are a good one.” For the first day, Duck never said a word, but just stared. Finally, after he got used to being on our porch, he would say, “Quackkkkk,” and then wait for me to answer him. But never would he turn away. Finally he would speak out, wait for me to answer, and then call again. Talk about beady eyes! Once he was so sleepy that he closed his eyes right while he was standing in front of us!
I find myself wonder how hungry Duck was and if he is now enjoying a typical “Duck diet,” instead of the “People Diet,” we introduced him to over the last couple days.And our Cat now feels safer as she is master of all she surveys once again. I know she is glad that the porch belongs to her now and that she is not threatened by Duck, an animal twice her size. Several times in the last couple days, she has sneaked on to the porch as she makes her way between the upright posts. Before the duck arrived, her favorite place to be was by the bench, where she could rest in peace. Now since Duck has yielded up her territory and is no longer a threat, she has gone back to that favorite spot. With the rug covering the bench and the quiet spot underneath, she is back to enjoying her position as head honcho!
What a real blessing we receive every day as we sit quietly outside in spare moments (not too many of those actually) and watch what God has given to us to enjoy. Now Duck was a special bird that gave us a show all his own. We won’t forget his hiding in a corner of the porch just waiting for us to arise for the day. And we will remember how he just about fell asleep right as we were talking to him. We have wondered if he is telling his friends some of the things he learned while with us! – CHRIS