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How to Hold a Duck

Hello dear readers. Time to share with you another of my lessons from the farm. This one comes by way of a darling, white Muscovy Duck named Groucho. Farm owner/manager/teacher Jordan tells me he's known Groucho all the duck's life and named him for the black "eyebrows" he had as a little duck. Now, Groucho is all white, and quite handsome (and he knows it!).

I met Groucho in the barn last week when I went to see the new feeding system Jordan was building for the goats (they are messy eaters).

Groucho waddled right up to me and began waggling his hind feathers. "He likes you," Jordan explained.

Ok. I'm making friends with a duck.

Groucho's wagging got more animated, and he moved closer. I worried.

"That's how they show they like you, like dogs, they sort of wag their tails," Jordan clarified. I stayed still, circumspect.

Then Groucho became interested in my black, rubber boots, probably because of their red soles (he likes the color red, apparently) and began to explore them with his beak.

I must have looked nervous, because Jordan came over for a teaching moment.

"Ducks bond quickly with humans. I've had ducks following me around my whole life! Just show them you are confident." I smiled, unconvinced.

"Bend down and take him firmly by both sides, put your hands on his wings and pick him up."

Not to seem daunted, I did as Jordan suggested and, Bob's your uncle, I was holding a duck!

"You can tuck his head under your arm, and he will go to sleep." Hmmm.

And sure enough, Groucho bent his neck under my arm, and began breathing deeply as I swayed him gently, like a baby. I stood there silently, only his downy body in the world, my own breathing slowing in time with his.

After a while, I set him softly on the ground again, and he waddled off to check on the goats.

My world had gotten just a bit bigger. I was a bit happier. I may have even wagged my tail as I walked back to the house.

Friends, take time today to notice the creatures around you. Learn their names. Maybe you'll make a new friend.

Yours in wonder,



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