Monday Morning, I was reading my mail in the office and got a phone call. Elaine has just pulled out of the driveway going to work. I looked at the phone and saw it was her. "What did you forget," I ask. "You're not going to believe this, but two Mallard ducks are sitting on Clancy's grave, a male and a female." "What are they doing," I ask, "Just sitting right on top of his grave, you've got to see it." I walked out of the house and could hear them quacking as if calling someone but as I walked toward them, they flew off, circling the area for a few times and headed East. The odd part, the grave sites are in the woods and ducks usually stay in a clearing.
We had only lived in our house at Dogwood Ridge for a few years, and it is in the country, deep country. Our hardware stores and farm supply stores sell things a little different than the same stores in the city. We don't see any other houses and live right next to the Hoosier National Forrest.
We were in a local hardware store, and they had ducks. They were only a few days old, and Elaine really-really wanted some. I told her that "let's go home and see what we need and then decide." We had most of the equipment, and it was a go, we had nearly everything we needed. The next day, Elaine went to the farm and feed store to buy a few ducks for the farm. I stayed home to catch up on some chores, and when she returned, things got complicated. Not only did she purchase eight Mallard ducklings, but she also got Khaki Campbell and Pekin ducklings. We were full to the brim with ducks. I will tell you that when they grow up, they get bigger.
It was truly amazing to watch them grow, and they grew so fast! Everyone looked the same when they were young, but as they grew, things changed, and the colors started to come out. They were beautiful and tons of fun. We needed a place for them to stay at night, so that is when I built my first small duck shed, and it looked like an outhouse. The neighbors laughed, but I liked it, and we were now real country people.
We did have our dogs, Clancy, Molly and Meggie but no one paid any attention to the ducks but Clancy who would herd them and keep a close eye on them. As Meggie grew up and the ducks were staying in the water, Meggie and her sister would herd them in the lake. The ducks would swim around and stop and peck at something, and Meggie would get close. The ducks just swam faster and left them in their wake.
|Meggie and her sister|
The ducks were so friendly and followed us around and especially loved it when I cut grass. The mowing would spook thousands of bugs from the grass to the air, and the ducks had a field day following me and catching them. We raised ducks to repopulate the Mallards and knew they would fly off someday. When I fed the dogs, the ducks would come to the door of the kennel, and I would toss them some food, and they would peck at the ground and my shoes and get their bellies full, and this was a daily occurrence. When the Mallards flew off, and we were duck-less, it was sad, but it was one of the neatest experiences we have had. They always say that Mallards return home and I wondered...
|Clancy, watching and Meggie watching from a distance.|
When they were here, the ducks would fly to us and land at our feet, and if you held your arms out, they would fly up to your arms. My fondest memory is when they would be several hundred yards from you, and you would clap your hands, and they would zero in on you and fly right next to you and circle and do it again almost like a game. When they passed you at head level, they appeared to be in slow motion, and the wind from their winds was amazing. It was Great…
Every year, some would always land on the lake and rest as they were migrating, and we often wondered if they were ours or their siblings. I never gave it much thought until one day I was in the kennel and as I walked out the door. A male and female Mallard was just feet from me and was staring at me. "Are you hungry?" I ask, and they came closer. I grabbed a handful of kibble and tossed it to them, and they pecked it all up. After getting their belly full, they pecked my shoe strings and flew off. "I wonder," I said out loud.
|My Boy and his ducks...|
As I saw the Mallards fly off on Monday, I wondered if they came to visit their friend, to pay respect to a fallen hero who was their mentor and who they may have imprinted with. I'll never know, but it was so touching. As I walked to the graves that morning, each grave is the same, only the headstone is different, but his grave had some small feathers on it, but I have to wonder why they would visit Clancy's grave? If I have seen anything with the dogs, rescue, and people, I see miracles and things that just can't be explained nearly every day. People call that have never heard of us, impossible situations come together in an instant, people help out unexpectedly that you don't know and it all amazes me. If I have learned anything, some forces come to play when the dogs and Clancy's Dream need help. I know this because I have seen it a thousand times. You will never know where or why the miracle happened, but it's really not a miracle at all because it was meant to be. Somewhere, someone will receive a nudge or a lick from a dog and not understand why. It may be something you may not be able to comprehend or understand at that particular moment. Be patient with this and take the love and kindness that comes from it, you can't envision the ride you will have if you choose his path. Ken...