"Hatch" Reducks

I've had a hefty hen hanging around the farmette for over a month. She just showed up one day in the company of five drakes. The mallard drakes likely hatched here, because they seem to know where we keep the feed. She clearly has some domestic Rouen in her, mixed with the mallard, because she's too big to fly. Despite the fact that we've just met, she's quite tame. She eats out of my hand. The other day, she appeared with nineteen newly hatched ducklings. I'm not sure what we'll do if they turn out to be grounded as well. That's more than too many ducks underfoot. For now, though, I'm enjoying feeling their soft bellies on my fingertips as they nibble food from my palm.

For more about my adventures and misadventures with ducks over the years, take a look at this excerpt from my essay "Hatch," which first appeared in Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment