Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hello, Old Friend!

For sentimental reasons going back many years, I've always enjoyed feeding ducks and/or geese.  Every morning on my way to work I pass two duck/geese habitats.  It's always a great way to start the day, especially when there are young out and about with their parents in the spring.

This particular duck, whose name is merely "Duck," lives near my office.   I discovered him by accident over three years ago, when it became necessary to take a detour to and from the office. Once I saw him, it was a mission of mine to make sure he had plenty to eat.

His situation saddened me a little bit, because he was always alone.  He would always be near the road, hunting for what food he could find in the grass and dirt.

I first started with bread, but later learned from a dear friend that ducks loved corn. My friend would take me to a local feed store where we'd get corn and just keep in our cars until it was all gone.  A fifty-pound bag of corn cost $6.00.  Not too bad a price!

This lone duck got me through a medical problem I had three years ago, in that he gave me something to focus on other than myself. Even though I didn't feel well, I was determined to go and look for him in order to feed him, even on weekends.  Sometimes if he was on the water, he'd take off flying and land near my car and get several double handfuls of corn.  I'd just call "Duck" and sometimes I'd see him paddling along.  He came to know my voice.

This ritual went on regularly for a long time. Then last year I no longer saw him. I'd take corn and call for him but he wouldn't come. Once or twice I'd see him in the water, but he wouldn't come to me.  But he was always alone.  I felt sad for him, but figured he just wasn't hungry.

Then, about a week ago as I was driving to work early one morning, I saw him!  He was on the opposite side of the pond where I used to feed him.  It just so happened that I still had corn in the back of my car.  What to do?  I made a decision in a split second and swerved into a parking lot across the road from where he was pecking around in the dirt.  By the time I got out of my car, opened the trunk and grabbed a handful of corn, "Duck" was crossing the street, heading my way!  I got him to follow me back across the street, then ran back to the car for more corn.  When I crossed the street again, "Duck" had a friend enjoying breakfast with him.

The next day both "Duck" and his friend were out early, so again I parked to take them corn. This time, they were both crossing the street, so I coaxed them back across before feeding them. 
 The bottom picture is "Duck's" friend.  I don't see them every day, but at least I know "Duck" isn't alone any more.  Every one, including ducks, need a best friend, don't you think?  The one thing I can't help but wonder, though: did "Duck" recognize my car?  I'd like to think so.


  1. Nice, and i love their red cheeks. Animals seem to be aware of their surroundings, and they should recognize our cars, even our face, our voices and probably our body odour too... haha.. Have a great weekend. ~bangchik

  2. Thanks for you comment, Bangchik. It's always nice to hear from you!

  3. Great post and story. Yes ducks need friends too - like you. I bet he did recognize your voice and your car.