My sister in law Kathie had rented a boat for the summer, and it was finally water ready. I went with her to Stonington, where the boat was set to be launched. She and a friend, Phil, were going to bring the boat over to her mooring, and I was going to drive her car back to the house. Sounds simple enough, right?
Just as the boat was about to be launched, a small duck came running up to Kathie, yipping away in great distress. Kathie has this amazing ability to calm even the most distressed beings, and she immediately picked up the duck. Here she is with the little one:
The rest of us went looking around for the duck’s family, since it was obvious that this duckling had strayed. But there were no other ducks to be found. There had been a sighting of a weasel-like family in the area, and speculation is that the duck family must have been decimated.
With no family reunion in the cards, a brilliant plan was hatched that I should take the duck, in Kathie’s Saab, to Oceanville, an area of the island where Dean, the boat launcher, had just seen a duck family near the crossover. Luckily, I knew where he was talking about, and off I drove (oh, so reluctantly) with the duck on the back seat:
When we bring Hobby, our cat, into the truck with us (in his carrier), he is vocal for at least the first hour of the ride. Not this duck! As soon as I started driving, it just settled in, and quietly cruised with me around the island.
As you can expect, there was no duck family to be found at any of the waterways that I searched. Plan C was to bring the duck back to Kathie’s, and she would look into what to do next when she arrived home.
I decided that the duck is a girl, and that her name is Annie, since she is a little orphan. So, Annie and I hung out in the studio while David worked on the kitchenette that he is installing. When I tried to leave, Annie squawked like crazy, leading David to make endless “imprinting” jokes.
Handyman David adding a cabinet, countertop, sink, fridge to the “Studio”:
When she returned, Kathie and Grandpa contemplated what to do:
With feedback from local animal rescuers, it was decided that Kathie would keep the duck, and that the duck would fly away when it was ready. So, we took Annie down to the garden to root around, to the shore for a swim, and then settled her into a temporary cage inside. The three foxes that live around here cannot be expected to pass up this gourmet meal, so Annie will have to be indoors at night.
The next day, David and Grandpa Harold built a nifty pen for her in the boat house:
And she spends her days growing, chirping, and digging for worms in the soil that I brought up from the garden:
Yes, I am bringing up worms from the garden. Yes, I dig through the dirt for Annie and she gobbles down the worms. And yes, I am bringing Annie up to the shower in the cabin for the night. This does have me questioning whom imprinted on whom.
When Kathie gets back from her boat trip, she is going to assume the role of surrogate mom. I have to get ready to hit the road next week, and boy, do I have projects to finish!
So, we have made way for a duckling. We have picked wild blueberries. And we have truly enjoyed this magical island. But the leaves are starting to turn on some of the trees (already) and Aztec Soccer (http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/w-soccer/sdsu-w-soccer-body.html) is calling. It must be time to wrap it up here, and start on the trek back to CA!
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