Friday, September 23, 2011

Days Without (a Duck)

Meet Vladimir and Inga

These two ducks are the most recent addition to the Casa de Chaos flock.  They are Muscovy ducks, known to be quiet, clean, friendly, funny, and grounded.  As it turns out, Inga (on the right) can fly.

Here are the events of the past week:

Friday 9/16-  I bring home the ducks around noon.  They hang out in the chicken coop, swim around their tiny pond, nuzzle each other with their beaks, and make cute, quiet chirping sounds.

Saturday- I let all the birds out into the garden first thing in the morning.  The dogs don't pay any attention to the ducks at all.  The ducks do the same thing they did the day before along with waddling between the corn and squash looking for bugs.
Around 6, we leave for dinner, assuming all birds will make their way back to the coop before the sun sets as is standard.
9:00 pm we return from dinner to find only 1 duck in the coop.  The word is that sometime that evening a neighbor stopped by to see if we were missing a duck.  He had seen it walking down the road on the other side of the block.  The roommates couldn't find it.

Sunday- I get up early to start the search for the duck. A neighbor with ducks on the other side of the block says someone brought it to her house the night before.  They found it trying to cross a major road 6 blocks from our house.  By the time we got there, the duck, free-ranging with the other birds, had already disappeared.  

Monday- No word about the duck all day. By this time I'm sure she's been eaten by something.  Finally around 3, I think to call the Humane Society.  Good news!  Someone called about a duck in their yard earlier that day.  Bad news!  The Humane Society can't take in birds, so the caller was directed to the natural history park.  The park hadn't got any calls.  Being that the duck was sure to still be alive, I made posters.

Tuesday- I left bright and early Tuesday morning for a field trip and left the posters to be hung with the roommates.  Roommates did not hang any posters, but as luck would have it, Tuesday night they encountered a 'Found Duck' poster just a couple blocks from the house.

Wednesday- The roommates find the duck at a women's rehab center 3 blocks away.  Trying to catch her, she demonstrates her impressive flying skills and evades capture.  I get home from my field trip late in the afternoon and we go back to the center to find duck on the roof, beyond our reach.

Thursday-  We go to the rehab center at 7:30 to capture duck and she is nowhere to be found.  We search the entire block with no luck.  At 8:45, a classmate walking to school spots the duck three houses down from ours on their front fence.  We get a crew together and hurry over to attempt another capture.  The duck escapes and flies to the peak of a very high roof, very narrowly missing a high jump capture attempt.  Having class at 9, I have no choice but to leave her.  At 9:15, the rehab center calls the house saying she has returned.
At 11:30 another posse is called to arms and we all head to the center thinking a night time capture will be easier, only to find the duck again at the peak of a very high roof.  Being a roof very well lit, close to the street, and above many sleeping rehab patients, scaling the building was not an option.

Friday (today)-  As morning gets underway and I prepare for another duck hunt, a neighbor stops by to announce that the duck is back at the house just down the street.  We get together some sheets, in hopes of throwing them over the duck to keep her from flying.  We find the duck in the driveway, almost cornered, and seemingly very calm.  We get as close as we can then attempt to throw the sheet.  She escapes again, but luckily only flies over the fence to where a group of fellow Prescott College students is painting a mural on the house. I make another attempt with the sheet and as she slips out the side, one of the painting students tackles her with another sheet.

FINALLY! The duck is in my grasp!  We immediately proceed home, to the shop, to cut the ends off of her flight feathers.

So, one week later, Inga the adventuring duck is finally back in the coop and I got to see a very cute duck dance when Vladimir saw her. 

And they (hopefully) lived happily ever after.  The end.