The Farm on Oak Creek

A little something

This week’s post is going to be short. This is because 1) I’m tired and 2) the book is almost finished and 3) I’m written out and can’t think of anything really interesting to say.

So here’s what I have for today. The ducks that made it through the cull have learned how to come when called. Everything–except Radha when she thinks coming to me might not be in her best interest–here comes when I call and I call everyone the same way so it’s a miracle that everything doesn’t come at the same time. I saw a video some time back about the old way to call home your cows. As if that’s necessary. If it’s milking time, the cows are home.

In this video, a beautiful blonde Nordic blonde woman dressed in white lace (seriously? in a pasture with cows?) called out an ethereal series of syllables that echoed in a gorgeous Nordic canyon. Their bells ringing, her cows came drifting across the fog-cloaked pasture to nuzzle her gently.

Oh right! As if. Mine were either trying to lick the hair from my head or sneezing snot all over me. Needless to say, my calls are a little more prosaic. I clap my hands and shout in my hoarse, old woman voice, “Sheep, sheep, sheep!” Or “Turkey, turkey, turkey.” Or “Duck, duck, duck!”

Hmm, maybe that should be “duck-duck-goose.” Maybe not. There’s someone across the creek from me who has a goose. I wouldn’t want to confuse it.

So after a few days of calling for ducks while clapping my hands, then resorting to a long stick and stepping into the ditch to chase them home, the ducks have yielded. Yesterday, they stood as far from their pen as they could while still watching me. They craned (ducked?) their necks, watching as I filled their water tub and food bowl. Then I turned and clapped, calling “Duck, duck, duck.”

Much to my surprise, they came running and flapping until they reached the chicks in the tractor. The chicken tractor confused them because all of a sudden their pen had disappeared. They stood on the blind side, discussing this odd shift in the space-time continuum, all of them doing that neck thing they do. Meanwhile, the chicks have all rushed to that side of the tractor to watch the much larger ducks in startled surprise. I’m thinking this was the highlight of their day. Now that it’s getting colder, they spend a lot of their day sunbathing, stretched flat out in the grass in a way that has me thinking they’re dead.

After conferencing for a few minutes, one duck took a risk and walked to the end of the tractor. He or she, I’m not certain which, looked back at the others and announced, “You silly ducks! It’s right there.”

That sent them off on another flapping race which needed several slight course corrections before they found the doorway. Even this time, without me herding them, one of the ducks missed the doorway and had to walk in a circle for a moment.

Five ducks and one of them always misses the doorway every day. And no, it’s not the same duck every time. Grateful, I closed the door knowing I’d have two duck eggs in the morning.

And that’s a little something for this gorgeous Autumn Monday.


© Denise Domning, 2023