Meet the Canards …
April 29, 2009 § 18 Comments
Meet Monsieur Canard, the winner, the triumphant , the fabulous Mr. C! He has courted and won the goodly Darling Duck (pictured below) after several days of raucous living in the backyard bamboo. This little home haven is also adjacent to the neighbor’s pool which has been sitting open and full lo these past few months and oh, you can’t imagine the duck hijinx that has gone on back there!
Mmmmm, you say. And, so?
Well, I say, leaning in closer to confide, Mr. C has done and won battle with two other handsome mallards who fell victim to the wiles of Darling Duck.
Really? You raise your eyebrows in disbelief. That little thing?
Yes, for days and days four ducks – 3 males and Darling – honked and clattered about in the bamboo, proving its forest-y strength and then went swooping into the neighbor pool, each landing perfectly like planes on a short decked air carrier. Indeed, after flapping and slapping about in the water – you might have thought several young schoolers were back there, having a lark (so to speak) – anyway, after their frolicking, they would swoop back into the trees, or squat and waddle through the tufty forest and up the bank and through the fence and behold! into our pool area.
Coming home one evening, I caught the four of them inside our fence. She was in the puddle in the middle of our pool cover. The flashy Mr C (above) was about three feet away from her, silent. Staring. At what? At his competitors, of course. There the three males stood in serious gang attitude, still, angry, wary.
All four ducks completely ignored me.Finally the two competitive marauders waddled off through the bushes. Mr. C gave no sigh of relief, not he, no, indeed! He puffed up his chest, planted his feet in a fairly straight position and gave me a sly eye, which I, naive to all this duck clatter, took to indicate that he wanted his picture taken. So, I snapped nearly a dozen photos, then turned my camera on Darling D.
I suspect he would have asked me to tack his pictures to the trees in the neighborhood, putting the word out to the other dastardly two, announcing pictorially that theyshould back down in their affections for the innocent Darling Duck.
At this point, having had enough of cooling her maternal self in the pool cover puddle came whamping out of the water to follow him. All was apparently good. They went walking off, he first, through the bushes.
An hour later, I went out to light the patio table candles and ponder the pleasures the Spring weather promised. And suddenly there was a huge rumble coming out of the bushes – here was Darling Duck, walking with wings lifted, neck stretched, webbed feet rhythmic, pumping. Right behind her, Mr. C came flapping and just behind him, their necks stretched in hissing and hooting, the two challengers.
Enough, I shouted. They ignored me.
They were all coming at me still though they didn’t really see me, I was sure. They were far too embroiled in their own race to win Darling’s curvaceous ways and suddenly Darling slammed on her little webbed brakes as did Mr C and they both went heavily airborne over my head, up over our roof and across the street. The other two followed in hot pursuit.
But all end’s well as far as we humans know. Just this morning, I saw Darling Duck and Mr. Canard, utterly and completely smitten with one another, parading across our pool cover, assuring themselves our pool wasn’t open , then went ducking through the fence and back towards the neighbor’s “swimming hole.”
There has been no sign of the other two duckie boys for days. I can only imagine that Mr. C has not only charm (just ask Darling Duck) but also other compelling ways – enough to drive off those other two unruly duck boys.
So will it be time soon to “make way for ducklings?” We are hoping they are born before our pool cover comes off and then visit only our neighbors.
Not a bad story, you say, but really, nothing happened.
Mmmmmm, I say, nodding my head. Maybe. Maybe not.
MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS …by Robert McCloskey.
The book , published in 1942, won a Caldecott Medal for its illustrations and is popular to this day. Though criticized for no plot (as the above narrative!), nevertheless a statue of the mallard mother duck and her 8 ducklings was erected in the park in Boston where the story takes place. It’s a classic.