The Duck, The Chicken & The Eggs

Every spring at Koko Crater Stables was a birthing event.  Numerous ducks and peahens had babies.  One of the mommy ducks was named Tasha.

Tasha

She was a force to be reckoned with, let me tell you. You did not mess with her! But she was a good mommy and always laid more eggs than any of the others!  Her favorite nesting place was in a vacant stall area that housed jumps and she chose – hello! – the coop jump under which to lay her eggs. This first year with Bluck Bluck there, somehow she was allowed to help Tasha sit on the eggs.  It was such a stitch to peer in at them. Bluck Bluck ( a chicken)

Bluck Bluck

always had this very serious look on her face, obviously taking her task very, very seriously.  Day after day, without fail, Bluck Bluck sat on those eggs with Tasha.  Goose Goose didn’t sit on the eggs but she slept next to them at night.

The babies finally hatched and there over 20 ducklings!  Every day, Tasha would take her ducklings on a full-day’s walk, teaching them to scratch and get around in general.  Goose Goose always led the way, walking slowly and patiently, allowing the ducklings to keep up. If you have never had the pleasure to watch baby ducks, you have missed a treat. They are very cute and exhibit lots of personality in their behavior. Anyway, it was always a kick to watch this odd caravan. Amazing how the instincts of parenthood transcend everything. Nature is pretty cool.

One morning I happened to pass by the nest area a day or two after the ducklings had hatched and saw Bluck Bluck with one of the ducklings! I didn’t understand until I happened to be there the next day before Tasha and Goose Goose started out with the “flock”. Bluck Bluck apparently figured that since she’d done all that work, one of those babies belonged to her and she didn’t care which!

Goose Goose

Every day she would keep one of them from following the group to be with her all day . Fascinating to watch her, just like a sheep dog or cutting horse, cutting out her baby for the day. Bluck Bluck wouldn’t take the duckling out and about too much, though, keeping it close to the nest. I couldn’t be sure but assumed she was afraid she’d lose it to another group. There were other “families” around, after all. The little sweetie. But, hey, Tasha didn’t seem to mind. All were together in the evening and slept together at night – including Goose Goose.

In the words of William Shakespeare, all’s well that ends well, I suppose!

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