We had prowlers in our yard a couple of weeks ago. I saw them two days hand running—which made me nervous. Being bigger than they, I scared them off, knowing that involvement can be costly.
What were my prowlers? A pair of mallard ducks, obviously checking out the real estate for nesting capabilities.
A few years back, I was cleaning up winter junk from the yard—papers, cans, etc. We have this mound out front with three white-birch trees that we transplanted years ago from our Vermont tree farm. A nice little wild patch perched on the lawn. Birches drop a fair amount of debris, however, so I was atop the mound, picking up sticks. Then I saw it, three feet in front of me. A nest with the well-disguised Mrs. Mallard sitting on a number of eggs. Right in front of our house! Multiple windows to worry through while observing this duck family!
How wonderful, you say. Interesting, you say. What a delight!
NOT, I say. The real worry began when we learned the approximate hatch date. Where would they go? The pond next door was the logical destination, but the neighbors’ German shepherd actively patrolled its perimeter. What if the ducklings left when we weren’t looking? Some kindergarten children wanted to watch the parade. How could we coordinate that?
You don’t know the RESPONSIBILITY of minding a duck family that has settled ten feet from your house!
Then the eggs began to crack. We notified Deborah and the children, hoping they wouldn’t walk in on a massacre. They arrived at the very moment Mrs. M led her brood off the mound—but NOT toward the pond as I had feared. She took them across the street and toward a swamp I hardly knew existed. Clever Mrs. Mallard!
It was all great fun, and we took lots of photos, but PLEASE, ducks—don’t come back and renew your lease! My nerves can’t take it.
RESPONSIBILITY is a big word, but the God who programs ducks to walk in safe places can relieve our anxiety over matters we cannot control. The German shepherds that prowl our ponds are no match for the God who shelters us under his wings.
Therefore, live in peace.
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