Boy, has it been a week. I’ve had increased stress, loss of sleep, trouble eating, and emotional trauma. (Not because of the kids this time, thank goodness!) This time it’s the ducks.
See, I’m trying to love the least of these… which really includes anyone and everyone… aaaand apparently it includes my duckies.
The struggle is REAL.
And now we have a duck in Carter’s bathtub. (The ultimate duck-lover’s sacrifice.)
I find myself at 3 in the morning hearing the quack of my feathered ladies outside the bedroom window (note to self: move the coop this summer!). It’s their cries of distress and I know it all too well. We are pretty much surrounded by woods and fields for miles and miles. Predators abound. We’ve lost our ladies to foxes, raccoons, opossums, coyotes, and great horned owls so far. But now that the coop is close enough to hear, I KNOW when it happens. I can’t sleep through that!
So on night no.1 I heard the quack of fear and ran outside in my pj’s and rain boots (PS It’s still below 30 degrees at night here in MI.) to find 2 of our 3 ladies quacking away and moving warily around the edge of their fence line. I opened their house to find the last duck with a raccoon’s paws around it’s neck. Poor thing! The coon ran out and climbed our tall fence (which I naively thought wouldn’t happen to us) and I realized our problems were only beginning. Those varmints are marauders. They destroy everything they touch, never mind that they leave a mess of their victims’ pieces- GROSS! I waited and watched the woods as I hovered over the injured duckie for a half hour before feeling she was going to make it and all the ladies were safe. I reluctantly headed back to bed.
I awoke later (like 7:00) that morning to find that our victimized duckie had not made it through the night due to a return visit from the coon. (Special thanks to the hubs for cleaning up the mess of pieces I “couldn’t reach” under the coop!) And a hole had been dug right under the fence this time.
Night no.2 I literally woke up with anxiety attacks every hour or so. I flew to the window to peer into the night wondering if I had really heard their quacks or was I just dreaming? The whole darn day was spent counting heads out the window to make sure they were really safe. Lord knows I was NOT letting them out to roam the yard today!
Day no.3 I woke up at 3:30 am to the urgent quacks and then silence. (Any mother of young children knows that silence is worse than noise.) This time Collin was ready. He had his gun by the bed. Fortunately/unfortunately he insisted on getting dressed to go out ‘coon huntin’ in the woods. (Really!? I heard silence. Hurry it up!!) He got his gear and headed out while I kept the dog quiet and watched out the window (& shout-whispered my two cents of course). Again, one duck was in the coop with blood on it’s neck while the other was hiding by the fence. He trod around the coop, scanned every single tree, and stalked the wood line but to no avail. He returned 45 minutes later to close up the coop only to find the coon still hiding in the rafters of our duck house!! Thank goodness, he’s thorough because that rascal never got another breath. He’s buried behind the barn now with the opossum from last fall. VICTORY! (However momentary, it is still sweet.)
Moral of the story? I have none at the moment. Perhaps I was just wanting ya’ll to know love needs boundaries… I haven’t seemed to find healthy ones here, as poor Carter will be showering with a duck for a few days. Perhaps it is also important to choose where we invest our love. I’m sure there’s a whole sermon there. Please feel free to comment below on your thoughts for a conclusion here. I know God speaks to me even through ducks!
** A quick update: Our injured lady has returned to the coop! She did lose an eye- quite a tragedy- however, she’s recovering well in every other way. Carter even re-named her after a family viewing of Finding Dory. While brushing his teeth and watching her swim in his tub he proclaimed she should now be called Becky.**