Monday, October 11, 2010

Flying Lessons

Flying Lessons

She was now already more than three months old.
Many weeks before we had seen that she was flapping her wings to practice to learn to fly.

Practicing to get strong wings.

From time to time we saw her hopping – while she flapped her wings – to try to come off the ground – and then we encouraged her and we went running in front of her – like two fools – while also we flapped our arms
Then one day, we were practicing again and then it happened. While she raced after us, she flapped her wings and hopped and all of a sudden – she went airborne – not yet high – but she flew a few meters.

                                        Fly Pipke ... fly! 
The touch down was not so good, it was rather falling down on her belly.

We encouraged her every time she tried to fly, and although her balance was still poor, one day she succeeded to fly so high that we were afraid that she would fly over the fence.
She practiced her flying skills very often, but she really couldn't get the right balance.
Once she was practicing, and again she flew rather high, but when she tried to land, she came almost in coalition with the wall of our garden house.
From that moment, it seemed almost as if she was afraid to fly high, she never flew that high again, but maybe there was also another explanation for this: I think – that it was probably because we also stayed on the ground, (of course we didn't go up in the air) that she never flew high and she developed a rather funny and special style of flying – she only flew just above the ground – while her toes hardly touched the ground.
Now we still wonder “how” she could escape from our neighbour's pen, the place was surrounded with a very proper fence, there were no holes in it: had she flown over the fence?
We could never figure it out, and now we still think that she could fly when she wanted it – when she was in need.

The anecdote below proves this:
Once we were working on the lawn of our front garden which is situated right next to the roadway, and as always she was there working with us.
Suddenly, we saw that a car approached very fast and it seemed as if it would drive almost on our lawn.
Because we were afraid that the car would hit Pipke we yelled: “Pipke fly!” She understood that very well – and suddenly she flew up in the air – away from the danger. The driver of the car was a little embarrassed, he was in fact distracted by Pipke, he found it was so special that she was there working with us.
When we were working in the front garden, we had to tell Pipke's story many times (in short of course) to people who passed because they asked so many questions. They were charmed by her beauty. Even many years later, those same people asked about Pipke when they saw us working there without her.

Anyhow -- although she never could find a good flying balance, her balance while standing on one paw became excellent.
As all ducks also she stood often sleeping on one paw. We could always see that she made plans to do that because she then started to shake her paw. Then she closed her webbed foot and tried to find a good place to hide it between her feathers. After shaking her foot a few times, it disappeared completely between her feathers. She did the same with her beak.
She could often stand in this position for hours, this was resting for her.
Imagine that you as a human have to stand on one foot for hours, I think you don't even have to try it!

Meanwhile she had adopted herself to a daily routine.

Every morning when my husband went to open her pen she wanted to go to the garden house to eat at the large food container.
Now – before we realized it - Summer was almost over, and at that moment we didn't know that there would come a great change in our and Pipke's life.
Next time I will give away what happened.

See you!


  1. i hardly get on at home to comment (can't at work where i usually read)
    just wanted to say i'm loving pipke's story! :)

  2. I really can understand that you can't give a comment Tabitha, but don't see this as an obligation. Although I'm glad to receive a comment -- nobody is obliged to react on my posts. Actually – the most important to me is that people "read" Pipke's story. 

    The reason why I've started this blog is to let people know that Pipke was the sweetest duck that ever lived. 

    Thank you for letting me know that you are still following my blog, I really do appreciate it. :)

  3. I, too, am still reading! Recently I have been busier than normal, so I missed it when this first went up. I love reading about Pipke, and it is wonderful that you write with humor as well as love.

  4. Thanks for the complement terry, very kind of you.:)