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Duck Duck Gross

In the early-2000s we were living in some low quality apartments after being evicted from my parents house. We were on the 3rd floor and while it was relatively safe it was not an ideal place to live. One afternoon I got a call from a friend who said that he had just seen the untimely demise of a family of ducks that wondered into traffic and sadly only two of the ducklings survived. He was headed out of town and didn't want to just leave them out there with traffic whirling by.

I asked him if he had talked to an animal shelter and he said after a few different calls none of them would take waterfowl and he asked me if I could care for them while he figured out what to do. I begrudgingly accepted as an apartment was not the ideal spot for wildlife but when he showed up with the cutest little balls of feathers my heart melted. We used some boxes to construct a makeshift bed and filled the tub with a bit of water so they could swim around.

I soon learned that ducks grow quickly and are consider adults in a little more than a month. We didn't intend to hold onto them for too long but quickly grew fond of them. Dave named one of them Josh after his best friend at the time and I named the other Simak after my favorite Sci-Fi writer. Andrea was a stay at home mom at the time and would take them outside to get air during the day. My friend didn't seem to be in a big rush to follow through on his plans to rehome them but we weren't pushing it like we should have.

They would hang around the living room with the family and follow us like we were their parents. We had two bathrooms and left water in the tub of one of them with a small ramp to get in and out so they could swim whenever they wanted. They were very well behaved but, as ducks do, would poop everywhere. Finally it became too much when they pooped on Andrea's purse and we started to call around ourselves to find them a forever home. Eventually we found a small farm to the North that had domesticated ducks that would accept them. We drove up there on a Saturday morning and said our goodbyes. Upon seeing other ducks they wandered off leaving two teary eyed kids and parents in their wake. It was only a few weeks but it felt hard to let them go. The boys are too little to remember most of it and my photos are likely on an old long lost digital camera but I still fondly recall their sweet little quacks.


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