Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Bad Experience

During the time that her pen was still open, Pipke sometimes went to the meadow behind the garden on her own and, one time she had been really lucky!
We only discovered that she had luck that day because a kind neighbor told it afterwards.
Here follows what happened.
As I told you already, Pipke was always interested in someone with a *shovel in his hands.
She associated *this with “earthworms”.
In the meadow
Searching for earthworms with Opa and the chickens!

Spring 1997
So - one afternoon - while we were not home - she went to the meadow because she had seen there one of our neighbors gardening with a shovel on his vegetable plot.

Of course – she wanted to look for earthworms with him - she was used to do that together with my hubby - but - that neighbor didn't like that at all.

I fully understand that he didn't want to be bothered while he was working but, he was so cruel to give her a stamp with his clog! He shouted loud while he hunted her away and so she ran very scared to the other side of the meadow. Unfortunately - there she came out on the roadway - a very dangerous place for her! Luckily she knew the danger of the roadway and she was so clever to run away to one of our neighbor's front garden.
That neighbor found her there - totally in panic. She was there looking for a way back home. He and his wife tried to catch her but, that went not so easy because she always ran away.
Eventually they managed to catch her and they were so kind to put her back over the fence into the meadow so she could go back home on her own. They saw her running home towards the little gate in the fence as fast as she could.

We didn't know what had happened on that very afternoon because we'd found Pipke swimming in her pond when we came back home. We only learned to know it because the neighbor who'd found her in his front garden told it to us that same evening.

We were relieved that this bad experience ended well, but we are still angry at that gardener because he had endangered her.
He could have put her over the fence, he even could have closed the little gate of her pen.
But- that's how it goes. Not everyone has the same good feelings towards animals. Actually - he wasn't a person who really loved animals. He never treated them with respect, for him they were only objects. He behaved very indifferent against animals. They couldn't touch his heart.
He told us afterwards what had happened with Pipke at his plot as if he'd done nothing wrong.
Of course he had the right to work on his plot without being disturbed by (in his eyes) a silly duck, but he had not the right to stamp her with his clog!

That is ultimately animal cruelty.

The Winter that followed (1996-1997), Pipke was alone in her pen without the bossy Chicky and she had no problem at all with the cold. She spent most of the time swimming in her little pond, but she wasn't so keen on snow! When my hubby went to her pen in the early morning to let her out she sometimes refused to step into the snow – she really didn't like cold feet! She then laid herself on her belly in the snow, to warm her feet between her feathers.

She didn't like cold feet!
That was so funny to see! 
When I called her she then jumped up - and while her toes barely touched the ground - she flew towards me!

What had happened with the vegetable gardner was a bad experience for her and, luckily it ended well. 
The story shows how cool and how insensible "some people" behave towards animals. 
Luckily there would follow many funny events. 
Next time I will tell you about such one.
Then I will go further with: A Bet.
Hope to see you then !

Thanks for reading my life story.
One stays alive as long as someone thinks of  you.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Missing Duck: Distributing Flyers!

Now she had spent almost 28 days and nights in the woodland. She had made nests at several spots. Every time that we had called for her, she had answered, but then – one late afternoon – we couldn't find her. We screamed and yelled – but she didn't answer our call. We spent several hours looking for her.
Because we couldn't hear her call we went deeper into the swampy woodland.
On our rubber boots we slogged through the brooks – we were really desperate. We were afraid that the worst thing had happened.
The sun was almost down when we went back home, both having tears in our eyes and hoping that we could find her the next morning.
We couldn't sleep well that night. 
In the very early morning we went back to look for her, but – again we couldn't find her. 
Oh I felt so desperate!
Had we lost her … what could we do to find her back?
We wanted to do anything to find her. We had to undertake something.
Therefore - my hubby printed flyers with the following message:

 “If you have seen a white duck with a crest in your neighborhood, please call phone n° .........   Good reward for the finder”.
One hour later we had already distributed them.
We stayed home, waiting for a phone call until late afternoon, and in between we both went to the wood separately to look for her, but every time without success.
The sun was already setting when we both went back that evening – we had to find her. Again we started to shout while we went deeper and deeper into the bunch when suddenly – it seemed as if we were dreaming – we heard her quacking at a spot very far away where we hadn't been before!
We went to the place where her call came from, and there we found her.
She had built a new nest there - and oh - she was so thrilled to see us, she “screamed” (yes she could scream) and we both got tears in our eyes from happiness.
You had to hear, how elated she was to see us there. As always, she covered the eggs very diligent with tiny twigs and grasses. After she'd done that task she inspected her nest and without we had to ask it, she followed us back home - full of joy - quacking very exuberant loud the whole way back.
(That was such a beautiful touching moment : I still remember this as if it happened yesterday! These beautiful sweet memories still brightens up my days)!
You can't image how happy I was that we had found her safe and sound.

The day after our neighbor told us that he could hear her the whole time. He was actually afraid that there was something wrong with her because she quacked this time so loud and so long!
Coming home you can imagine. We cuddled and hugged as if she had been away for ages.
Then we took a decision: from that moment on – we would close her pen!  We did not want the same would happen again.

This was really hard for her! She wanted to go back to her nest in the woodland. Oh she was so restless.
I tried to distract her attention from the woodland, so I went with her to look for good nesting places in our garden. I took twigs and reeds and arranged them as a nest and I encouraged her to help me with it.
It took her a few days to get at ease again, but from then on she made her nests in our garden and most of the time we did it together.
That year she laid about 94 eggs, and every time she had laid one (when I was home) she came calling for me. I had to see the result. It was beautiful to see how she had lined the nest with her fluffs. She had plucked them from of her chest to do this. We both covered the nest then carefully when she left it. Sometimes she also sat incubating the eggs the whole day long without eating. She really could become exhausted from it. We sometimes could “hear” when she was laying her egg because she sometimes had a problem with it. I really think she must have suffered then, at least that's how it sounded.

I'm only showing you this small film picture to let you hear how she sounded when she'd *egg-binding. It wasn't easy to find the correct translation for this *problem. In Dutch it's called: legnood. 
Maybe I better explain it as: “She had a problem to lay an egg”.

In a normal situation a duck lays about 10 eggs per nest, and if there are signs of life in them, then they start to brood on it. Pipke kept on laying eggs, because they weren't inseminated (obviously). She heard no life signs in her eggs – and this would become a very big problem for her in the future. 
About the future I will tell you later.

Then I will continue with: A bad Experience.

See you!