Lesson Learned

A house was not a home without animals. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

My neighbor got a flock of ducks;
Six, to be exact.
Two were white and four, brown.
I confess, I was gobsmacked.

Every day as the clock chimed three,
The ducks emerged outside.
Where they lived the rest of the time
I never learned (though I tried).

They picked and scratched at stuff on the ground;
They stretched their necks and wings.
Where was their water, I often wondered;
How did they know these things?

One day they ventured into my front yard,
And Monkey had a fit.
They couldn’t know he’s a herding dog,
Bred to chase a bit.

But Monk could only watch them strut —
His back yard is entirely fenced.
And one day, to my complete surprise,
A truck pulled up and commenced…

To load the pretty ducks all up
And carry them away.
Sold, or given, to a nearby farm
Where they’ll have room to play.

The truth is, my neighbor confessed,
Ducks make a lot of poop.
And having to clean his yard every day
Was worse than banishing the group!

Note: The best I can tell, this poetry form is in common meter — alternating iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter.

23 thoughts on “Lesson Learned

    • I’m fortunate they didn’t poop in my front yard (or at least, I’m hoping they didn’t!) I had to scoop Monk up so he could watch them out the window because his backyard didn’t have a good vantage point. Ever try holding a squirming, barky dog?!?

  1. Oh Debbie, what a fun read! And you got some great photo captures!

    This reminded me of when I was a kid and my mother would occasionally get us 2-3 ducks for Easter. We’d keep them until they got to a certain size, and then take them to a large duck pond in New Hope, PA and drop them off.

    And your neighbor is right, ducks do make a lot of poop. LOL!

    Clever poem, my friend! You are so talented with words!

    Happy Monday to you and Monkey!

    • We never had Easter ducks, Ron — or bunnies, either, for that matter. You had a good childhood, providing you with lots of wonderful memories!

      Yes, ducks really need more room than my neighbor had. As for the water source, I never saw one. I have to assume there was one somewhere, but where, I don’t know. They were pretty things though, and I enjoyed hearing the occasional “QUACK”!! xx

  2. Yes, clever poem. And I can just imagine how Monkey had a fit. As I know from experience, Shelties do like to bark, and those ducks sure gave him something to bark about. Hope the ducks have a happy life on the farm.

    • Thank you, Laurie. As far as barking goes, Monk isn’t overly noisy (thank goodness!). Oh, he lets me know when the UPS guy comes or the wind moans through the trees, but he seemed more interested in getting close enough to these new “birds” to sniff them … and perhaps chase them into some corner!

    • What a hilarious thought! No, my neighbor never “walked” the ducks — they strutted around all by themselves. And you’d have thought they would have made more quacking noises, too. I suppose they laid eggs? (I don’t really know. This is a sort of rural area, but I’m a city girl, ha!)

  3. Ducks can make fine pets, but it’s best if they have a good bit of land to roam, and a pond of their own. I do know someone who had a couple of ducks as pets when he was a kid. They lived in the panhandle, but moved to Houston, and the ducks came with them. They dug a pond in their back yard, and every day Daisy and Donald (of course!) would follow my friend to grade school, and then fly home. At the end of the day, they’d go to school to greet him. It was amazing — and even more amazing that they died of old age, rather than in traffic. Of course, all that happened nearly sixty years ago, when traffic wasn’t so bad!

    • Great true story, Linda — thanks for sharing it. I never saw these ducks fly. They stretched their wings and flapped, of course, but that was it. As for a pond, I’m sure they’d have been delighted with one. I frankly was concerned over the neighbor’s pit bull, but perhaps that breed isn’t as dangerous as people tout.

  4. I enjoyed the story your poem told, Debbie, and the hilarious ending. 🙂 My mother had a duck for a while. Somebody gave her the egg and she let it hatch with her chickens. He got along very well with the hens. I wish I could remember what she named him but he had quite a personality.

    • How cute, Barbara! I guess people do like having ducks around (I understand they can be quite amusing!). And I don’t see any reason why ducks shouldn’t get along with chickens, especially if they’re sharing the same pen. This group got pretty large (to my eyes, anyway), and I can only cringe at the thought of having to play cleanup!

    • I was shocked when they tried it, too, Ann. The ducks were fairly small at first, but they seemed to grow overnight (and I suspect their droppings increased in size, too!). Since they already have a dog and at least one cat, I never figured out how they kept the flock safe anyway!

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