Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Bet

In the first years after we'd built our house, we did the lay-out of our garden ourselves. We had a landscaper to help us with it. He delivered the grass mats and the plants and he also gave us advice how and what to do. He was a good aid for u because, we didn't know that much about plants or gardening at that moment.
Of course, he was also there in the year that Pipke was born, because at that moment we were still buzzy with planting new plants. He saw her as a duckling of only two weeks old.
He was a huge tall guy – a kind of macho type with a high “testosterone” level – but from the moment that he saw Pipke – his testosterone level halved.
It seemed almost like "an icicle that melted" in no time.
He looked at her with such a tender look - you wouldn't think that such a macho could be capable to show so much affection.
Every time he delivered our plants he took the time to observe her, and you could see that he enjoyed it very much.
Now, Pipke was almost two years old, and she had developed a special manner of playing. She loved to play “Cowboy and Indian” with my hubby. She really enjoyed it – every time it was laughing out loud.

Probably, I don't need to say “who” played the roll of the Indian, of course: Pipke did!
She wore the feathers on her head! She was: “Big Chief White Feather.”
My hubby was the real old country boy: “the Cowboy.”
One day the landscaper delivered us new plants and as always he took the time for a chat and to observe Pipke. "What is she grown up beautiful" he said. "It's really a pleasure to see how cheerful and active she is." 
Of course - he could often see her working together with us while we were working in the garden.
"Oh" my hubby said: "then you have seen nothing yet! Would you like to see how we play Cowboy and Indian.” 
(He looked very amazed as if he didn't want to believe it.) 
“Well - we shall give you a demonstration!” While Pipke was laying on her belly on the lawn, my hubby went to the backside of the garden and hid himself behind the garden house. As always Pipke followed this all very alert and a little mistrustful – you could see that she wondered where "the villain" was going to hide himself.
Very alert she waited and, after a while she went to look for him in the back of the garden.
Then suddenly my hubby came peeping from behind the wall and yelled: ”pang – pang – pang” , while he imitated a pistol shooting cowboy pointing his finger towards her.

From the moment she heard the yell and saw him shooting at her - she stormed full speed ahead - quacking loud and fierce. She started to fight with him and bit in his hand. (He held his hand low just above the ground to fight with her.) 
She grabbed him where she could - in his sleeve and in his pants. She chased after him through the whole garden while my hubby stopped from time to time to let her fight. Of course – after a while he let her win the fight.
As a sign of surrender he put his hands in the air and went to sit on his bum. She then stood there next to him very proud as a real conqueror. He was not allowed to move or she would attack him again.

The landscaper couldn't stop laughing! He couldn't believe what he saw and he said: “I am going to bet with my employees that I know a duck that plays Cowboy and Indian. Can I come back to proof it to them?”Sure”, we said, “then we will give another demonstration.”
A few days later, he came back with his crew and we gave them a full demonstration.
Our little Indian played her roll with full persuasion.
The look on these men's faces … they were really astonished.
The landscaper laughed exuberant– and although the work crew had lost their bet - they too laughed. They too were now enchanted by Pipke. She'd conquered their heart too.

(Note: We had captured one of these "Cowboy and Indian" scenes on film but unfortunately the footage went lost during my relocation to an other domicile.
So - to my regret I can't show it to you. The scene was really funny! We had sent a copy to a Belgian TV program that you can compare with : America's funniest home videos.
To give you an idea how she enjoyed fighting I will show you this small film picture.
Although here she behaves rather calm on this scene that I show here.
As you can see, here she stops fighting after the "time out" sign!)

Big Chief White Feather and the Old Cowboy

However - that same year, our landscaper installed a large pond on his domain, and he placed a whole duck family on it. He invited us to visit him. He wanted to show us his ducks on the pond. 
It was a beautiful natural pond with a lot of water plants situated at a very quiet place. The ducks were really cute. It was a very small breed of ducks with various beautiful colors.
We took no pictures of the ducks but, here on these pictures that I found on 
Google images 
you can see how they looked like.

You could see that the landscaper was really proud at them, and the smile on his face! 
Almost no more macho to detect!

This shows, what a great influence “one white duck with a crest” can have!

I hope've you enjoyed it!

Next time we go further with: Emergency Call 911.
Hope to see you!


  1. great post fran!
    it's wonderful that pipke was able to brighten so many people's lives in different ways
    what a silly girl she was :)

    the landscapers ducks were beautiful
    so many interesting breeds

  2. Not so far away from where I live now is a small pond with even a smaller and more beautiful breed of ducks Tabitha. I often pass there when I'm running. Every time I see them I wished that it could be possible to keep ducks but on a condo that of course isn't possible. Anyway - NO other duck can replace my "Big Chief White Feather":):)
    Thanks for your comment!

  3. That is a nice story.
    Do you remember how Pipke first started running after and "attacking" your husband after he had hid himself?
    I often play "hide and seek" with my cat, where I will get his attention, then run and "hide" in another room. Then the cat comes to look for me, and leaps at me when he finds me, so I jump in surprise - and then he jumps in surprise - and then he runs away and I go find him. I wonder if what Pipke was doing was something similar? And why do the animals do that, I wonder?
    Those "exotic" ducks (at the end of your story) are very pretty; there are those in several cities around here (Germany) in the public gardens. But, I have never, ever seen another duck like your Pipke with that gorgeous, somewhat eccentric-looking "crown". :)
    Take care.

    1. Actually - it was my husband who started with playing Cowboy and Indian Terry!
      Pipke was always curious and she followed him everywhere.
      When she didn't see him she went to search after him and - so it started. It must be a funny sight to see you playing “hide and seek” with your cat. Actually - you must capture it on film and place it on YouTube.:):) The way you describes the play-scene shows how much pleasure you have in it. It makes me laugh! I can't compare your hide and seek with how Pipke played because she didn't hide herself afterwards. She only stood there very proud and satisfied. Ho - how she loved to play: actually she encouraged to it. I think that most animals like to play so now and then and each kind does it on their own manner. Yes - Pipke was a real princess Terry! She wore her crown already from the moment when she was born! Thanks for this nice comment! Enjoy walking in the public gardens and watching duckies! Take care too!:) I hope you had a beautiful Summer!