The good luck duck

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I found a duck yesterday. It was a very small chick and when I first spotted it my heart stopped.

It was hopping in between five o'clock the rush hour activity at the only traffic light in town! At first I thought it was a sparrow which would certainly fly away. But all it could do was hop, and peep frantically, as it dodged one car tire after another. When I was finally able to safely pull my car off the road, I set out to catch it. This was accomplished on the double yellow line directly in front of the Catholic church. I had to put out my arms to stop four cars, who were approaching a red light, but as none of the 30 other vehicles had stopped for this tiny creature, I had no expectation these blokes would.

I brought the little fuzzy warm handful to my friends around the corner at the Chatham Farmers Market for help. The duckling was milk chocolate brown color with intense gray eyes and a dramatic stripe running from the front of the face straight to the back of it's head. It had a narrow, small dark beak, a wide fat tail, and very fine dark webbed feet with the tiniest curved claws. The folks from Red Barn Farm agreed to take her home and add her to the other various hatchlings on their farm property. A small bit of homework this morning revealed this birds identity: a Mandarin Duck hen. I'm pretty sure of it. Heres an image:


Feeling very proud of myself for taking time (and some risk) from my busy day to save a helpless wild animal, I decided I had earned the right to name it. "Jesus Christ" and "Oh God" are the first two names that came to mind, since I had uttered these many times while watching helplessly from my car as the poor thing bobbled about in the middle of the road. I still can't believe it didn't get run over! Sensibility won out, however, and I thought Hargy would suffice. Here's an image of what she should look like when fully grown.

FemaleMandarinDuck.jpg The drakes are far more beautiful with their dramatic copper markings, but I'm afraid Miss Hargy won't have any to choose from when the time comes, as this species is not native to our continent. What's still got me scratching my head is how the heck this creature found herself smack dab in the middle of routes 66 and 203 at 5pm on a Friday in June.


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This page contains a single entry by Carol published on June 9, 2007 9:36 AM.

Goodbye Cricket was the previous entry in this blog.

lucky duck update is the next entry in this blog.

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