Thursday, 8 April 2010

Today I birthed a duck

Well I didn't actually 'birth' as in 'give birth'. It was more a case of cooing and clucking to encourage the little duck to get out of it's shell. Have you ever seen a baby bird come out of it's shell? Wow, but it is magical. First a lot of tweating goes on, then a tiny hole appears. The tweating continues. The hole gets bigger until it becomes like an open window and you can see the little bird inside, still chirruping away. And then its head comes out, then another bit, then the shell breaks and more comes out, the little body covered in dried up spikes of feathers. It is making a hell of a racket meanwhile. Doesn't stop. Apparently the twittering is necessary to get air into the lungs. Ah, that's why I chat so much when given the chance - to air my internal passageways!

The little duck baby laid in the palms of my cupped hands for aging deliberating on whether or not to make the final push and get out of the shell altogether. "Come on, push" me and Sara said in unison. (I was down the road at Sara's farm on an errand of mercy. Will let you know what that was in a min). 
The little duck responded and with a lurch entered our world and became entirely hatched, followed by a spoonful of gloopy mess which was quite a surprise seeing as how the little duck was absolutely dry in itself. 

And so today I birthed my first duckling. Then I went to look at Claudia's leg, which was not behaving as a leg should, and was unwilling to do its job of getting the rest of Claudia mobile. With huge fringed lashes she defied me to tangle with her, her mouth being full of food at that precise minute. 

So I went and had a cup of coffee, and watched the newly born duckling meet its new friends in Sara's baby-bird nursery. Time to go chat with Claudia. She was more approachable now she had a full tum, and let me fondle her. My hands roamed over her face. Up came her head, open did come her mouth, and with naughtiness gleaming in her eyes, she did a sharp nibble with her rather large teeth. Not a hard nibble, just a "You be careful where you put your hands" type of nibble.

And so I did my job, which was to do what I could to help her knee. Like all knees which have had a kick, it was not well. Over her neck I roamed my hands, plunging them through the deep fur, soothing, cajoling, "please don't get up and kick me" being definitely in the firmness of my hands. 

Me and Sara, we did the work on Claudia's knee. Last I saw, Claudia was sitting on a pile  of straw, surrounded by loads of plump chickens intent on finding a morsel of food for their lunch. And it came to me to say to Sara, "If Claudia is eating then she is alright. If she is letting the chickens partake of her space, then she is alright. If she looks you straight in the eyes, then she is alright. If she spits at the chickens then she is not alright. If she keeps her gaze lowered, then she is not alright. If she does not eat, then she is not alright". 

Mr T came along and fenced our posts today. Not all the posts are totally upright. Some are leaning thisaways and thataways. "It's to do with the stones in the ground" he said, but in French because he is a Frenchman. Of the 360 posts that got hammered into the ground today, at least a quarter have a drunken air about them. Unfortunately they are the ones which are going to be seen the most. Ah well. Mr T said he would come and straighten them up with his tractor. Can't see how he is going to do this seeing as how a straightened post will leave a wider hole and is therefore likely to fall back into its original position when left a while. 

Oh so anyway, the rabbs are OK. Hubs / Head Animal Keeper is alarmed at how much grass they get through. Seems like we are forever having to feed them. Bools and Gussy continue to regard them with interest and are often seen going nose to nose with them through the cage door. 

The robin seems to have gone elsewhere, but now in residence, much to Hubs / Protector of the Coe Household's annoyance, we now seem to have become a prospective hotel for other local birds who seem to think they can build a nest in our brand new roof, but inside. Often there is a near mishap as I go through the front door, only to have a bird try to squeeze through the opening at the same time flying in from the opposite direction. 

Today I birthed a duckling. I also did some work on Claudia's rather large hairy leg. Claudia is a camel.  A big camel. Bools and Gus were overcome with emotion when I made a return home carrying the aroma of camel all over me. "Divine smell" was painted all over their faces, especially Gussy's. He almost had his eyes closed with the ectasy of it all. 
So God bless ducklings, God bless camels, God bless Bools and Gus, God bless Hubs, and God bless you.


French Fancy said...

OH this was so lovely, Vera. I can just picture you sitting watching this new being emerging into the world. I wish I had been there right beside you.

As for Claudia - there was me thinking I would have to read back to see what animal she was but you spared me. From the littlest duckling to the largest camel - I loved this post.

Vera said...

I didn't think of it like that, but I guess you are right, FF. From the littlest to the biggest. It is quite life changing to hold an emerging duckling, and I would have loved to have had you there as well!

Previously (Very) Lost in France said...

There is something lovely about watching a new life emerge. We had loads of chicks just before we left France and it was joy to watch them. Sadly, we heard from our tenants last week that some hunting dogs came a calling and killed half of the chickens. I didn't ask which ones as I was really rather ridiculously attached to a few of them! Can I ask the obvious? Why do you have a camel in your garden?

DUTA said...

Wonderful post, full of humor and with such a descriptive language as only an accomplished writer like you could handle !

I've enjoyed reading your post on the birth of a duckling, and to be in tune with your concluding sentence I'll say: God bless you Vera!

Ken Devine said...

I can't say it better than DUTA and FF Vera,and like Lost in France I am wondering why you happen to have a camel?

Vera said...

Hi Previously Lost:) Sorry to hear about your chickens, and hope that the rest of the flock stays safe. We have fenced our boundaries with high and strong fencing, so hope that will avoid similar difficulties. Ah, Camel was not in my garden, but down the road at Sara's place. She has four camels and other sundry animals, and runs a children's farm. I am a reiki healer, and she sometimes asks me help with her flock.

Duta:) Thankyou for your reverse 'God bless', and oh so many thanks for your kind words.

Ken:) The camel isn't ours, it belongs to Sara down the road. They are very big creatures, and most times there is a fence between me and them, but when one is unwell, it normally lies down. Then I can get close and have a cuddle. The aroma of camel does wash off eventually!

Roz said...

what a lovely post - its a real heart warmer to see a duckling isnt it :) xx

Barry said...

Congratulations on birthing the little duckling. That must have been an amazing experience.

My youngest daughter worked her way through University taking children on camel rides at the Toronto Zoo.

She would come home smelling of camel, so it's a fragrance I'm well familiar with, but pleased not to currently have in my life.

Vera said...

Roz:) The site of a duckling is indeed a real heart warmer, and it was with great reluctance I gave this particular duckling back to Sara.

Barry:) It was indeed an amazing experience, and fortunately I don't often give a camel a hug, so am not to beset by camel perfume very often. Hope you staying well.