El Pato Ha Vuelto!
Many years ago in early April I bought four mallard ducklings at Blue Seal Seed and Feed. They were tiny, and like most poultry in this county, they had been mailed with their siblings to the feed store when they were one day old. They lived in a crate and swam on the pond. One survived the nightly predators to full maturity. And because we wouldn't clip his wings, when Fall finally arrived, nature's plan took over. He flapped his wings, circled the pond, quacked a few times, and flew away toward the South. His name was "Tricky Duck." And he was a traveler.
Remarkably, he came back every Spring. He brought his mate with him. And then his children-- I imagine they were his children-- returned each Spring with their mates. And then his grandchildren. And their mates. For more than 25 years.
This Spring has been quite cold and bitter. There's been snow. There is still snow in the fields. There have been geese, but, so far no appearance by Tricky Duck.
Last night was cold. This morning was cold also. It was just above freezing. And then, a surprise. I heard him quacking. Tricky Dick's unmistakeable quack. Quacking to the dog, who is no longer with us, to stay away. Quacking to the sky spirits. Quacking aloud. Quacking for joy. The duck has returned. I saw him and Ms. Dick swimming in the pond. Spring has almost arrived.
I have posted this Tricky Duck annual event for many years now. This year, it was reported that Blue Seal in Chatham, Tricky Duck's original address, is closing at the end of the month. I guess we didn't buy enough there after we got Tricky Duck and his siblings. And now it's gone.