Thursday, May 5, 2016

Normal Days in Pipke's Life: part 2

Hello dear blogger friends,

hope you're still around!
First I want to apologize for my long absence but I've had serious problems.
In November last year, my PC crashed with the result that I lost a very important part of my data.
I've lost not only the oldest family moving images, but also those of Pipke in her first years.
The latter weighs me the hardest!
I'm not going to bother you with all the details, but - I had and still have a lot of problems to continue working on Blogger. 
It's a disaster that I can no longer upload film images on my blog. 
So I'm going to try to find out how I can restore this.
Meanwhile I'm going to make the best of it.

So to continue with the sequel of the story.

Normal Days in Pipke's Life: part 2
As you perhaps could see on the previous pictures, our garden was rather large.
So - there was always something to do.

The backyard – near the orchard.
In the background you can see her pen.
Whatever the work was - we could always count on Pipke to cheer up our job.
Assisting my hubby with mowing the lawn was one of her favorite pursuits.
It was a joy to see her in full action.
Once a week in Summer, she accompanied my hubby with mowing the “whole lawn”. The whole time she ran after him.
Of course she had a good reason for this action, she was a clever girl.
She knew very well, that while the mower drove over the lawn, many bugs jumped up, and she was keen to catch them.
While she ran, her eyes were focussed on the bugs.
As a real roadrunner she rushed over the lawn in all directions, often with good result.
She knew the danger of the lawn-mower very well, she knew that it wasn't safe in front of it.
When my hubby had to empty the grass collector, she stood waiting patiently to go on with work.
*As you can see on this footage, she did her job very well. (*Link.)
She was our own private pest-controller, one – that wasn't harmful to nature.
Of course, after she'd done this tough job, she'd become tired. 
So - it didn't take long before she went to sleep in her dog-bed. 
For at least one full hour she slept then very soundly.
In fact, this was every time a good exercise for her to keep in shape! And - the most important: she did it with much joy … just like we did. She trained to keep fit.
This work was usually done in the afternoon, and if we didn't have to mow
the lawn, 'so now and then' - there was of course the '*weed plucking'.
(Actually, I can better say rather 'often' – because weed was an never ending struggle.)

Weed plucking in the front garden.

My hubby detested *this job  enormously, but he did it with joy - or rather said -with 'less reluctance' - when Pipke joined him. And of course, you didn't have to ask her to help. From the moment she saw a shovel or any other garden tool she was there to assist!

After the weeding was done she mostly returned to her dog bed.

When we were inside the house, she often went on her own to her pond to swim and/or to wash herself. Afterwards she went back to her dog bed to preen herself thoroughly. Every tiny feather got a turn. She also waxed herself with the wax of her waxing gland at the bottom on her back of her tail.

So now and then 
(actually it was rather a daily routine) I strolled with her through the garden. 

Often she wanted me to carry her. As a sign to be picked up, she pecked on my garden clogs.
I wore her then on my left arm, and - if I was wearing a sweater with a zipper, she started to play joyfully with the zipper tab, tearing on it with force.

Playing with my zipper!
Buttons on my coat or shirt, were also her favorite toys – or my earrings – oh .. oh, she would have liked to grab them, if she would be allowed!
I saw her then looking at them – her eyes focused on the glitter – but then I said with a disapproving voice: “no Pipke, you may not”! You could see her then, hesitating for a while: “shall I – or shall I not” – but she didn't – although she wanted to be naughty.
If she had behaved herself well (what usually was the case) I then said with a lot of appreciation in my voice: "oh, you're such a good girl!”
The look on her “face” then! You should have seen it – it seemed as if she was proud that she behaved well, and then she gave me an abundance of cuddles. Oh – we hugged a lot!
These were such endearing moments! She was such a good girl – she understood by the tone of our voice if she was allowed to do something or not.
Actually, we had our own special vocabulary. 
We spoke 'Quacks'.

After dinner - around 6:PM - if the weather was good, we drank our coffee outside with her. Then we sat together in the backyard – near the orchard – on the bench.

The bench where we spend so many happy hours together!

She sometimes sat between us on her synthetic mat,  or I carried her in my arms. Usually - around this time an ice-cream car drove along. He played a special tune: '*Little sand man, bring me a dream!' (*See PS!)
While we heard that tune I often said to her: “listen Pipke, what's that”, and then I also hummed the tune. Then she nodded her head – to the left - to the right – with short movements. She always seemed to be amazed that I hummed the same tune.
In fact, we wondered if she recognized it as the same.
While she was laying in my arms with her head close to my face, we had eye contact. She sometimes could be fascinated by my eyelashes: when I blinked then a few times – she started to play with them very gently, without hurting me.
With such a close eye contact I could see straight into her eyes. They were so beautiful dark brown. I could see her two eyelids (on each eye, as all ducks have and they can use them separately). The inner eyelid was a special one, it serves for diving goggles. It had a whitish color and it was a little transparent. The outer eyelids were covered with miniscule fine feathers, (almost as eyebrows) and when she closed her eyes, the lower eyelid went upwards, the opposite way as with humans.

When she sat between us on the bench during the molt – she often laid her head on my lap to be groomed. Then she let me remove the white waxy keratin sheaths that remained in her crest, (they hindered that the tiny feathers could open, it sat as a holder around it). She closed her eyes then – and tilted her head to all directions – I shouldn't skip one fluff of her crest.
When I stopped – she asked for more – and if I didn't react - then she tried to get her head under my hand – to be groomed again. You really could see that she enjoyed this. The result after a few sessions was beautiful. Before – the tiny feathers were all prickly, but now, she had a beautiful full soft crest.

Sometimes she also slept with her head on my shoulder – my long hair covering her head! On that moment - you should have seen me from the back! 
Pipke's head peeping through my long hair. 
It seemed almost if she was wearing a wig!
I regretted that I had no eyes on my back – that I couldn't see it – but my hubby enjoyed it, and he often described it to me.
Afterwards we often went to search for spiders! Yummy, yummy! She loved them.
We walked then along the hedge with her, while our eyes were all focussed on the spiders in it. When she had seen one we hadn't seen, she started to peep heavily, sometimes she became even impatient. 
It almost seemed as if she said: 'there is one here, quick!'
Sometimes we had to take the spider with a broom, because she sat too high for us, but - she had seen it. She had a very good eye-site, she could see birds of prey that we couldn't see (I'm going to tell you something about this later).
When there were no spiders, then we went to look for pill bugs. 

She knew their hiding places very well. She lured us then to boulders or wooden railway sleepers which lay as decoration in our garden.
There she started to beg. We had to pick up the stones one by one, she then sat almost on top of our hands. Together with opa she looked for them very furiously, not one could escape. Of course, opa couldn't pick up the larger railway sleepers, they were to heavy, but she knew where the smaller sleepers were lying.

So, she went to the sleepers and started to peep very elated until my hubby turned one over. These were the places with an abundance on pill-bugs – then it was a real feast.
After this “quality time”, she was really satisfied. 
We'd had our stroll, we'd snuggled, we'd groomed, we'd listened to the music and she'd had her favorite treats: spiders and/or pill-bugs!
Can a pet duck ask for more?

So - we all had a wonderful day!
How she went to sleep, I will tell you later.

Herewith I'm going to close this post.
I Hope that it could captivate you.
If this is not the case, then I fully understand.

For me, these are precious Memories!
I have written them to never forget.

Bye, bye 
see you!

PS: actually it was also intended as a legacy for my offspring, although ........

(About the tune: actually *that was the tune in her younger years. Later in her life the tune would change and it has finally given a very special touching meaning for me. I will tell you about it later in the story.)