Kimmy Sophia Brown

The House With Poo Corners

Jul 6, 2003
In May [of 2000] we moved into a wonderful house situated on a canal. There is a large population of waterfowl living here. My kids were feeding all of our bread to the birds so I began to buy fifty pound bags of cracked corn from the local feed store. We now have several dozen ducks and sometimes a dozen geese marching up and down the embankment behind our house every day.

During this time we noticed little green cigars on the driveway and in the grass. It reminded me of when I was in highschool and my friend, Beth, teased me because we had two dogs and didn't clean up the yard enough. She said we lived in "the house with poo corners". We've revisited that name here with all the little fowl (foul) droppings. It's dangerous to walk outside barefoot!

All the ducks are cute, but the little mallard ducklings are the most adorable. My children call them "bumblebees" because they're black and yellow and they zip like lightning behind their mothers. They sometimes fall victim to snapping turtles that follow them from underwater, and tragically bite off their feet or pull them under altogether. The little flocks sometimes dwindle from nine, to six, to four ducklings before they're grown.

The ducks and geese are very territorial, and depending on who is parenting, they chase each other, head down, kamikaze style. I have seen one mother duck rip into the neck of another one for no apparent reason. The term, "pecking order" has taken on a whole new meaning for me. The very arrogant geese are the bossiest of all. Sometimes I catch one staring in the window, as if to pressure me into bringing out more food. One morning my daughter, Gracie innocently went out with a bucket of corn and the geese hissed at her and chased her to the front door. She dashed into the house, chest heaving, crying, totally freaked out by their meanness.

One particular family consisting of a mother and eight ducklings came to visit every day. Gracie and Ranin would sit quietly on the grass with bread crumbs while the ducklings ate from their hands. Ranin came in one day all excited because the babies stood on his bare feet, and their duck feet felt on his feet, in his words, "soft and fragile."

They are persistent little creatures. We had a terrific thunderstorm a few weeks ago that was genuinely scary. I looked out into the yard and the ducks were cloistered there, waiting out the storm. One white duck, looking much like Ferdinand from the movie, "Babe", was looking in the window, quacking, his little heart visibly pounding in his chest as the lightning flashed and the thunder rumbled. I felt quite guilty for not opening the door and inviting him and his friends in out of the storm.

A friend passed on this joke to me which has greater meaning for me now.

A duck goes into a 7-11 and says to the clerk, "You got any duck food here?"

The clerk says, "NO, we don't have any duck food here."

The duck says, "Okay." (actually, he probably says, "Otay.") The next day the duck comes back into the 7-11 and he says to the clerk, "You got any duck food here?"

The clerk says, "NO, we don't have any duck food here."

The duck says, "Okay."

He comes into the 7-11 the next day and says to the clerk, "You got any duck food here?"

The clerk looks at him with great irritation and says, "No we don't have any duck food here, and if you come in here again looking for it I'm going to nail your feet to the floor."

"Okay." says the duck.

The next day the duck goes into the 7-11 and says, "You got any nails in here?"

The clerk says, "NO."

The duck says, "Good. You got any duck food here?"

The little duckies are poultry in motion, and we love them. They are fickle little buggers. If we don't put out the duck food, they don't visit us. Of course, then they don't leave their little green Cuban cigar souvenirs either. But we don't care. We love them. We got duck food here. They can come anytime.

Kim lives in Maine, which is lovely, and where she continues her enthusiastic relationship with Art, Music, Nature, Books, Animals, Humor and Trees.