Moments of chaos and moments of calm at PumpjackPiddlewick

There are moments of chaos in life. Luckily, they are often followed by moments of calm. Case in point, this morning…

Let’s set the scene. Dawn. A grey, slightly cool dawning. Gabby, our duckling duly fed and had her play time, she is now snuggled into my scarf to sleep off the burst of energy. We head downstairs to let the other ducks out of their stable bedroom to greet the day.

At the moment this is a quiet thing. Normally, I would be greeted by a chorus of voices demanding their door be opened, but currently we have both Maggie and Beepbeep nesting. Their respective male partners, George and Sir Studly quietly stand guard. (Or in the case of George, he is often found sitting on the nest with Maggie. Weird.) Only Louis, our odd duck out since we sadly lost Pi, greets my footsteps.

This morning it was all quiet, and normal, until … Beepbeep decided this was a good time to come off her nest. Given the warning sounds, I duly scooted Louis back into the stable. Beepbeep could now come off her nest, with Sir Studly guiding the way, without being molested by Louis.

All went well. I started to head upstairs. And then, chaos occurred.

Maggie decided she would come off her nest as well. Suddenly all our ducks were out and about in the courtyard. Not good. Two of them hormonal. PMS on steroids.

What ensued was like an orgy from Caligula. George and Louis duly leapt on Beepbeep, vying to see who could have their way with her first. Sir Studly headed straight for Maggie.

If you have never heard the sound of angry and upset female ducks, well, it is rather ear shattering. Especially at 7am.

Honestly, who ever said the countryside is quiet has never lived in the country.

A fraught few minutes were spent detaching male ducks (they grip the neck feathers of the female when they wish to mate) and scooping them into my arms. All 3, wriggling, with flapping wings. And little Gabby in my scarf giving out scared peeps to add to the melee.

The boys were bodily hauled to the duck enclosure. But of course, as soon as I set them down, George was away. Flying back into the barn. (That boy is a real flying ace, able to fly even through the barn window, execute a turn and land in the stable bedroom. Tom Cruise eat your heart out.) He unerringly found Beepbeep again. More duck screeching ensued.

I ran back into the courtyard, left hand clutching Gabby in my scarf, though consciously not too hard. This time I scooped up Beepbeep. Taking her into the stable, I put her on her nest, which immediately calmed her down.

And breathe.

Louis and Studly were separated away in the duck enclosure. Maggie and George have the courtyard to themselves. And Beeps is now sitting quietly. Chaos settles into calm.

Well, that is, after I calmed down our little Gabby. More food, more play time for our little duckling, and I find myself on the sofa with her sleeping in the crook of my elbow. Gigi has come up to join us and sleeps at my side.

And this is how today’s vignette was inspired and written, surrounded by a sleeping calm.

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