There are always Mallard ducks hanging around here. They are always sneaking into the aviary to steal chicken food. And there’s always a lot of them on the roof. Just on our roof, though. Not on the neighbor’s roofs.
That’s how I opened a Bed & Breakfast joint last week. The story starts when my swimming pool steps disappeared.
It didn’t take long for Mrs. Mallard to fall into the gap between my pool and that wire fence.
The Farm Manager nudged her out but it wasn’t long before Mr. Mallard got stuck in there, too. The difference is that the Farm Manager wasn’t home and didn’t find him for a really long time. Mr. Mallard got himself into quite a tizzy, by which I mean that his feathers were all sticky-outy and covered with the muddy sand that is all around the bottom of my pool.
When the Farm Manager coaxed him out, he walked directly to MY pen and plunked himself down. I didn’t invite him, but he’s a good friend so I figured it would be okay.
He came out for some corn, but then he went right back in. Norman the Flock Manager went in and looked him over, but Mr. Mallard just glared back at him, so he left. He came out when Mrs. Mallard finally showed up, but he went right back in after they shared some corn.
When all the visiting mallards flew away at dusk (They roost on the nearby lake in a kind of nocturnal flotilla.), Mr. Mallard hunkered down in the bedding the Farm Manager put in for him. At my bedtime milk time, Mr. Mallard was still there, so he got penned up with me for the night!
In the morning, Mr. Mallard was swimming in my old potty bowl. He didn’t even want to come out of my pen!
So when the Farm Manager wasn’t looking, I dumped the potty bowl! Because I needed clean swimming water for my guest!
Mr. Mallard wandered around the yard all day with Mrs. Mallard, who showed up again. His feathers looked much better after the spa treatment.
I kept expecting him to fly away, but at bedtime he retired to the aviary. He was swimming so happily that the Farm Manager didn’t have the heart to send him packing. In fact, he spent the better part of the following day in my pen again. WHATEVER.
Every night now, we have to check the aviary for mallards. They love that tin can pool and the 24hr buffet. In the back yard, my new pool steps have been installed, so no more stuck mallards, there. We hope.