wings and things

Afternoon delight

I usually go out to the back yard at around 4-5pm to put the ducks, geese and turkeys into their yards for the night. The chickens all sleep in the trees now, just like the guinnea fowl and peacocks; they have learned the hard way to be scared of the foxes.

The gang all head to their yard of their own accord. They are much more routine-orientated than I am, so sometimes I find them waiting patiently inside the yard and, when I arrive with lettuce, they make a lot of noise and I’m never sure if they’re saying ‘oh, goody, lettuce’ or ‘well, it’s about time!’ I think it’s probably the latter.

The three Indian runner ducks are a bit more difficult to round up. They still don’t seem to understand that they are in danger from foxes and they run away from me in that Basil Fawlty way that is both funny and frustrating. I have to put them in a separate yard from the gang because the male duck keeps trying to flirt (that is an understatement) with the female geese.

 Once the ducks, geese and turkeys are all settled in their yards, I sit down at one of the adjacent picnic tables and have a drink while I feed the chooks. Sometimes I am joined by a particularly friendly peacock. No, he’s not really interested in the beer; he wants to steal some of the chook food!


Slapstick comedy

The first time I saw Godfrey trip over his own feet, I pretended not to notice because he did (I kid you not!) seem quite embarrassed. I mean he fell flat on his face, then picked himself up and shook himself, hissed at me as if to say, ‘you better not tell anyone about this!’ then struck his usual pose of upright arrogance.

It has been quite interesting to observe how clumsy the other geese are too. In their hurry, they often trip over their huge feet, fall over, pick themselves up, trip again etc. The ducks are much more agile so, whenever a goose trips over, the ducks watch with great interest – and disdain. Hilarious!

This picture is of Godfrey just before he fell onto his face. I know this is going to sound awful but I did have a bit of a ‘haha!’ moment before he picked himself up.

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The patter of little feet

This picture was taken a few weeks ago and I’m very glad I took a few shots like this because all four of these goslings are now HUGE! I have never known anything to grow as fast as a goose (well, except maybe a miniature pig – see previous posts.)

The first time I heard the sound I was outside the front of the house, getting firewood. I thought it was a roll of thunder but when I looked up, the sky was clear, so I realised it must be Son on his drums.

That is until they came around the corner – six geese at full speed, their huge webbed feet slapping the ground into a primeval beat. When they spotted me, their stampede became more frenzied until they reached me and I told them I’d run out of lettuce.

Disappointed, they waddled quietly away.

Note: ‘the patter of little feet’ quote comes from the following poem:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Children’s Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,  When the night is beginning to lower,   Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,   That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me   The patter of little feet,   The sound of a door that is opened,   And voices soft and sweet.

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