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Duck!

We live not too far from a pond that ducks live in during the summer months. There are usually from 10-60 ducks there at any given time between April and October. In the spring and early summer we love to go down there and see the itty-bitty fuzzy ducklings. They don't usually get to come too close to the walking path because of the protective mothers, but as they get older, they get bolder. When we remember, we bring some bread heels or other grain product so we can feed them.

Not too long ago I burned four loaves of bread. Yes, Captain Bread makes mistakes too. We were upstairs watching a movie and I didn't hear the timer go off. Now when we do that, I set the timer on my phone so I will be sure to hear it. Anyway, they were overcooked by five or ten minutes and were a little bit too dark to be pleasant. The crumb was still soft and didn't taste burnt, so I took to cutting the crusts off each time we ate some. We ended up with about a loaf-sized pile of burnt crusts. I saved them so we could take them to feed the ducks. We went twice with our burnt offerings and the duck ate them up like candy.

About two weeks after that, I looked out the window in our breakfast nook and saw a mother duck and five little fuzzy ducklings waddling through our back yard. We were pretty stumped at first -- how did they get into our back yard with the fence and gate? Later I saw that the gate had a three or four inch gap on the bottom at one side. The mother must have had a tight fit, but the ducklings would have been just fine. The crossed the lawn and went to the garden. The mother duck hopped up onto the raised beds (only about six inches up) and wandered around. The babies were all cheeping and trying to hop up too, but couldn't make it. Finally they found a shorter spot and made it up after a few tries. Then one of the ducklings jumped off the back of the planter down into the space behind. It was terrified and let the whole world know. After a short time, the mother hopped down and went around back to fetch the little chick. They spent maybe half an hour in our yard and then left, never to return.