Well a bad, bad, really rotten, horribly bad, extremely upsetting, BAD THING happened yesterday. We lost a duck. It happened while the girls were at school. Jasper & I were cleaning & feeding the flock. I left him sitting on the ground next to the fence where we keep the baby ducks. He always likes to talk to them while I rake out the chicken yard. I wasn’t really paying any attention, but out of the corner of my eye I happened to catch the very moment when our dachshund – Fig – managed to snag the poor little chirper! Apparently Jasper had pulled the mesh down, away from the side of the fence & there was just enough space for the little duck to poke his head out & Fig – who has been waiting for a chance to stake a claim to one of those birds for days upon days – saw his opportunity & successfully chomped the poor babe. I was so afraid Jasper would be traumatized. He looked at me with this very confused face, held his hands up in the air said “Mama! Ducky fall down!” & then he just went about his business, collecting sticks & talking about Spiderman stuff. Imagine me trying to not physically launch my dachshund across the property at this moment. I was beyond pissed to say the least. Granted, these things happen. And in all fairness, I’ve known all along that we would likely lose a bird or two from time to time. I’ve succumbed to the fact (especially after the ‘DEwinging’ of the hen incident) that this is par for the coarse. But I certainly didn’t expect my own dog to be the culprit! So disappointing. I realize Fig is just impulsive. His instincts took over, he saw a chance, he’s opportunistic & that’s what dogs do. But that doesn’t change the fact that I wanted to punch him square in that freakishly long shnOZZZ of his! But, I needed to stay calm & get Jasper away from the situation. Once again, the garden hose to the rescue. I got him sidetracked watering the plants, house, deck, fire pit – pretty much everything in his line of vision – & I went to examine the crime scene. Poor little duck. I wanted to put it out of it’s misery, but he was fading fast & I knew by the time I made it to the garage & back with the proper tools to “do the deed” then he would already be gone. I scooped up his semi-lifeless body & kissed some prayers for peace. He was a goner within a few seconds. This time I sang “When the Saints Go Marching In…” I don’t know why or how these tunes pop in my head during moments of bird crisis, but…. I dug a hole in the woods & thanked the Universe & God & Mother Earth for working together to create such beauty. I covered the grave with flowers, pine cones & a large stone, which I’m sure the girls with eventually paint in honor of the quacker. I cried a bit. I didn’t think I would, but I did. Mainly because I knew Teagan would be devastated. And she is. She has sobbed a river of true sorrow for this precious little duck. She loves them all so much & the idea that this little guy suffered, even for a moment shreds her tender little heart to bits. I don’t think she’ll ever forgive Fig for as long as he lives. I tried the logical approach, “this is what dogs do… They are animals… blah, blah, blah…” Nope. She couldn’t care any less about the logic behind his actions. All she knows is that a funny, sweet, defenseless little fuzz ball will never get to swim in the pond or chase his friends or explore his world. It’s crushing to see your child hurting & not be able to fix the problem. Such is life. I pray she digests the reality of the situation after the shock wears off & comes to grips with the fact that nature can be ruthless, that is her way. These things happen. In the meantime, I let her stay home from school today to mourn a bit. We went strawberry picking with my friend Robine & we’ll make a pie later. It won’t change the situation, but it will hopefully feed her spirits a little. This was one NOT SO LUCKY DUCK. And life goes on.