Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Twice a day I pass the tiny pond. It can't be more than fifteen yards long and less than that across. There's an island in the middle, just a clump of dirt and grass with a little wooden shelter on top. The two white domesticated ducks are either in the water or on the island or just resting in the bit of lawn between the pond and the fence on the other side. Sometimes they're out of sight when I come by, but even now, in the middle of winter, they're always there again the next day.

The pond hasn't frozen and maybe it won't this year. I don't know what happens if it does, or if a snowstorm comes; will the people from the house at the top of the lawn come down and take the pair inside, or shut them up in an outbuilding somewhere out of sight until the weather improves? I guess I'll find out when it happens. For now the ducks seem content enough with the situation.

Sometimes there are visitors on the pond, a pair of mallards or even three or four. I don't know if ducks have a pecking order like chickens do, but I've never seen any sign that these visits are unwelcome; in fact the mallards rest on the water right alongside their hosts and everyone seems quite calm about it. I suppose that after a while the wild ducks, obeying their own reasons, fly off elsewhere.

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