Monday, April 11, 2011

His Royal Duckness

Meet King Charles.


His real name is supposed to be Heinz, but it just doesn't fit him.

King Charles, if you remember, was the little fluffball who accompanied Benjamin on his journey to our little farm.  He was the companion duck, who, after being placed in the brooder with the three other goslings and Ben, decided to take them all on by nipping repeatedly at their noses.

He's come quite a way since then.

I will be the first to admit that when King Charles first came to us, I dismissed him as "that duck".  The five ducklings we already had were such a nusiance already, always running away and being nervous and getting sick, that I figured he'd just be more trouble and I wrote him off.  I figured that if he was content to live with the goslings and they all got along, so be it, he could do whatever he wanted to do and that was that.  Luckily, ducks and geese have similar nutritional needs in the brooder, so there was no issue, and I'd not be endangering his health to live with the goslings.

And that was that.  I was sure that he was eating and drinking, and that they all got along fine, but I never really thought about his having much of a personality.  Silly me. 

Turns out Charles has quite the personality.  We've been working quite hard around here lately, and there's been lots of digging and planting.  Every time there was a pile of dirt, Charles would climb on top.  I really never thought of why, he was just in the way.  Then the other day, I noticed that my little friend is looking for worms. 

And he's good at it.  If there's a worm to be found, he will find it, even if I can't see it myself. 
It became a sort of game then, digging up the dirt, and then waiting for Charles to come and inspect it.  I never have to wait long.  Usually he's right near the shovel, so I have to be careful.  Then the game became how many worms can we find Charles, and he was greatful for those as well.  He stuffed himself with so many worms in the last two days you could see his front pouch grow during the day.  Saving the morsels for later, I suppose. 

This is where King Charles discovered my son's apple juice, and that he really liked it.

Since then, I can't dig the dirt with Charles around without him waiting for me to offer him a worm.  When he sees the shovel, he walks right over and cocks his head to the side, as if to ask, "So?  Got anything for me?"  I give him whatever I find.  

Yep, he's a funny guy alright, and has made me start to rethink my outlook on ducks overall.  

 Of course, it probably helps that he thinks he's a goose.  I've got a soft spot for them.

He does whatever the goslings do.  See the leg?

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