I’ve told this before
The ex was an enthusiast about nature’s creatures.
One day a particularly dumb duck had built its nest on top of a 9 ft high wall.
This is out in the countryside.
Missus spots nine or so little ducklings having survived the fall to the ground apparently abandoned by mother.
Not one to miss an opportunity to help she gathers up the ducklings and introduces them to an always broody silky hen who thinks it is her birthday and gathers all the ducklings up and keeps them warm at night obviously thinking that they are chickens.
I watch the whole story evolving.
Broody silky is so full of herself shows the brood around the estate as they follow in a line as ducks do.
Then one day silky is walking her brood by the pond that I built and something happened in the brain of the ducklings, they went.
” Ooooh, look! water, water” and they all dived into the pond and went paddling around and then discovered that they could go underwater too.
“This is FUN, this is FUN”
meanwhile excited Silky is running around the edge of the pond going “No, No, No come out , danger, danger “
ducklings would have none of it.
A few weeks later I was stood out by the pond.
I was watching the ducklings and they had got quite big now, more ducks than ducklings.
They were all on the pond and then some communication must have happened because they all simultaneously took to the air.
They should have thought that their mother was an earthbound chicken but apparently not.
I watched them fly in a great arc perhaps 400 yards and then they made their approach.
This is the funny bit, I was stood there watching them as they hurtled towards me.
A couple overflew the pond by a dozen feet and ended up rolling about in a ball in the grass.
One missed to the left and ended in a crumple.
One was aiming straight at the water but its speed was too great.
Instinctively it put its web feet out as air brakes and started back-flapping furiously and hit the water in an ungracious fashion.
I swear I saw panic in its eyes.
All of them were very ungracious in their landing for their first flight without training.
I felt quite a special relationship to have seen that funny thing.
Then a few days later they all left.