Please, please, please ducks–just go to bed (and chickens, please let me take your pictures!)

Kissing chickens. Thank you guys!

Some of you may recall from the last blog post that my weekend assignment included tending a friend’s chickens and ducks. Dog and cat, too.

It is now time to report back.

I have thought long and hard about the many ways we humans can tell a story. Many people might tell the fowl story this way: I spent the weekend feeding and watering my friend’s animals. It was very interesting and kinda fun. #end of story#

However, I almost always prefer to tell stories the way I experience ’em. Which often contains a bit of eye-rollin’ drama, just because that’s the way this mind tells stories.

Ready? Shake a tail feather and let’s get movin’.

My friend said the chickens and ducks “put themselves to bed”. You just have to arrive between 8:15 and 8:30 and the chickens will already be a’roostin’. Close the chicken coop doors and everything will be fine until the rooster crows in the morning.

Unfortunately, I do not know how to follow instructions and am always early for everything. Left the house at 7:30 p.m. on a rain-threatening Friday night and proceeded to do chores. Fed the dog his antibiotic. Cat food out–check. Chickens settled on their roosts. Check and double-checked doors. All was well in hen-land.

Now time to make sure the ducks waddle into the duck house. C’mon, ducks. In you go. Be good fowl. Go inside. The wind is picking up: looks like it’s gonna rain. In you guys go.

Ten minutes later.

Please ducks. Please go in your house. Don’t keep wandering around quacking and shaking your feathers. (I try to herd them in. It’s gonna start pouring any minute. They totally ignore me. They run in the opposite direction. There is no WAY those ducks are going to do anything normal–like bed down for the night.) Herding ducks is like herding cats. They don’t herd.

In their defense, it was only 7:45 and my friend had said–you remember, don’t you?–the ducks don’t go to bed until 8:15 to 8:30.

I kept eyeing the darkening sky. My insides started shaking. Finally perched myself on top of a stump and waited.

Oh look–one duck waddled inside the house. No, here she comes outside again. Three ducks in, two ducks out. Please, please, please ducks just go to bed before the downpour starts.

A half hour on a stump seemed like six lifetimes. I imagined sitting out in the wind-howling pouring rainstorm on the stump for the rest of my life. In fact, my life flashed before my eyes in that half hour. I was going to be a total failure at duck-sitting. And how many duck did she say there were anyway? What if four of the ducks never came home to sleep? Would I be a duck-killer and never trusted for such a fowl assignment again?

At 8:20 the ducks turned, looked at me smugly (I’m sure they did–one even snubbed her beak at me saying, “See who’s boss?”), and nonchalantly walked into their nighttime home.

Success! (The storm took out our electricity and knocked down trees everywhere, especially in town. The ducks and chickens slept soundly. I didn’t.)

Next morning–fed those happy well-slept chickens and ducks. Pulled up one of our broccoli plants and offered the little peckers nourishing greenery. Harvested eight eggs. Talked nicely to the girls. (The blurry fella in above photo is the rooster. He apparently didn’t want to be photographed. More about that in a moment.)

Chores finished–back home. In the middle of the afternoon, when the light seemed promising for fowl fotagraphy I returned with camera.

Turns out the chickens were traumatized (I am SURE they were traumatized!) by my camera clicking. Look at the following photo.

All the hens ran away, bunched up around their protective rooster, attempting to save themselves from the evil camera. They looked at me with scared chicken eyes, begging a quick retreat.

Please get away, evil photographer, bad camera.

“I have traumatized the chickens,” my inner storyteller mumbled. “First the ducks traumatize me–now I’ve traumatized the chickens.”

(Those of you who might not have active inner story-tellers might tell the story thus: I tried taking pictures of the chickens but they temporarily scurried away.)

Probably, in reality, no one was traumatized. But it’s the way this mind thinks!

The ducks didn’t seem traumatized. They did look leerily at the camera and kept waddling away.

“No photos today,” quacked one duck, but I ignored him.

“Photos today,” said I, “unless you want to be duck soup tomorrow!”

We shall end the story with this duck–a Brazilian species, mind you–quietly preening her feathers.

No one permanently traumatized, not even me. A successful quiet (but interesting) weekend with feathered fowl. Hope you enjoyed this little story!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in September 2020 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Please, please, please ducks–just go to bed (and chickens, please let me take your pictures!)

  1. Larissa says:

    I’m glad you’re not someone who tells stories the first way. Thanks for making me smile and laugh this morning πŸ™‚

  2. jeffstroud says:

    Sounds like fun! You did tell a good story, creative and in the moment filled with concern, humor, and happy ever after….

  3. I’m laughing. Not at you, of course not my dear Kathy. I’m laughing WITH you. You’re laughing, right? You tell a GREAT story. You are a story-teller extraordinaire. Well done. You have also convinced me to never ever offer to ‘babysit’ ducks or chickens. Ever. xo

  4. Stacy says:

    Bravo! I would entrust my anumal.with you any day! XOXO

    • Kathy says:

      Do you have animals, Stacy? Chickens? Ducks? Dogs? Cats? I found this to be quite an adventure!

      • Stacy says:

        I have a very loving dog. We tried our hand at a couple.of ducks, but that didn’t end well. My dream animals are a goat (for milk) and a sheep (so that I can spin my own yarn). I do love animals and usually prefer their company to that of humans.

        • Kathy says:

          And can you get these animals in the near future? Or do you live somewhere where they’re not allowed? I can imagine you being very sweet with your animals.

  5. Carol says:

    Cheers to telling a story the way it should be told, with whatever embellishments might seem right. Chickens are at least in a cage, so how far can they go? Ducks, however – seem to be a bit more independent. Hostile maybe even. Or at least sassy.

    • Kathy says:

      I am still chuckling, Carol. Thanks for reading and appreciating the embellishments that my inner storyteller can’t seem to help making up. You are right–the chickens are in a cage, so they’re pretty controllable. (Although these particular chickens used to be free range.) The ducks are sassy. Yes. That’s a perfect word for it. Independent quackers.

  6. jessicas334 says:

    Aww, how sweet! I really love the story that your pictures tell about your lives.

  7. Susan D. Durham says:

    Love every feather of this! Laughed so hard practically all the way through. I am sure all the creatures appreciated your caretaking, and now you have made them all famous, as well. Best story teller ever!

  8. dawnkinster says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha…we watched the neighbors’ chickens for a couple weeks this summer. There were 12 chickens and one mean rooster. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get them all in at night too, what if I couldn’t find them all? But they all came running in the evening because she gave them treats then. That sort of worked. The rooster was still trying to attack us. Finallywe figured out if we held a broom they all moved quite quickly, single file, into the coop! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ We didn’t have any ducks though, they sound stubborn.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, I remember you talked about the mean rooster and even warned me! Glad your chicken came running and didn’t act like those diva ducks. The broom is a brilliant idea.

  9. Wonderful story! I’ve had quite a day, but sometime I’ll tell you about my horse-sitting adventure!

  10. What a fun story. Animals are cool in this way, aren’t they? They just do as they like, even if it causes us grief sometimes. I think it is super nice of you to do these tasks for your friend and happy you were not soaked!

  11. Tilly travel says:

    Such a fun story Kathy, I laughed out loud at the though of running around trying to herd ducks. I hope you get the chance to look after them again.
    Bright Blessings

  12. Ally Bean says:

    “The ducks and chickens slept soundly. I didn’t.”

    Made me laugh with the story. Why not have fun talking about what went wrong? That’s why we blog, right!

  13. I did enjoy this story! In fact I was laughing out loud about the ducks refusing to go bed until the appointed time and then about the chickens retreating from your clicking camera, and Tim wondered what was so darned funny. Well, when I told him and showed him the picture of the chicken huddle he had a good laugh, too. Thanks for letting your inner storyteller tell the tale! And the pictures are icing on the cake.

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you (and Tim) thought it was funny, too, Barbara–I am still laughing days later! Haven’t had such a giggle writing a blog post in some time. (And the pics didn’t turn out half bad either, thank you chickens & ducks!)

  14. Thanks for sharing this blog such an funny blog

  15. This post makes me happy. I dramatize the antics of my birds too. All my birds are drama queens. Even the boys!

    I love the chicken kiss photo!

    • Kathy says:

      I’ll bet you know a lot about chickens, Lunar! Smiling about your drama queens–it makes life fun to dramatize (except sometimes I have to tell myself to STOP!) Thank you for liking the chicken kiss photo. Me too.

  16. atthecorner says:

    It’s so funny! I don’t know ’til now that chicken n duck eat broccoli plant!

  17. Barb says:

    Well, now that you’ve had the experience, are you thinking of getting some fowl of your own? I was chuckling, Kathy. I love the hens kissing!

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you chuckled, Barb, and that you liked the hen-kissing picture, too. I couldn’t believe the camera caught that! As for getting some fowl…so way. Never. Ever. Ever. πŸ™‚

  18. Reggie says:

    I so love your way of telling the story, Kathy… it is far more interesting this way! I’d say good jobs on duck sitting and chicken sitting! Who knew that ducks don’t herd?! I always learn something new when I visit your blog.

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh that was such a fun weekend, Reggie. And even more fun writing this blog post! tee hee….love writing stories about “ordinary” things and making them sparkle with magic.

      • rehill56 says:

        I never properly addressed this blog! It was fun! And you know me I have loved all our chickens and ducks (the comediennes of the poultry world – yuk yuk yuk yuk). Your photos are great!! One thing about chickens…they never go to bed before they are ready (can’t see) and if you start too soon you’ll get in trouble! If it’s almost too dark for us to see them they’ll be tucked away ready for the door to be closed. Ducks on the other hand had us chasing them around like a Groucho Marx movie.

        • Kathy says:

          Ruth, I thought so much about you during my weekend with the chickens and ducks. Thought how much YOU would know about tending them. Laughing that you found ducks could not be herded, either. Chasing them around like a Groucho Marx movie–how funny! (We are still eating eggs from our weekend adventure.) Thanks for coming back and sharing your poultry thoughts. πŸ™‚

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