Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A duck's diet?

Nothing important, just a story to make you smile when you've a spare moment.

Remember the pond . . . and the fish . . . and the heron who came to feed on them . . . and all the dramas and excitement? Well, there's been a new twist to this aquatic saga.

Rupert and I were sitting peaceably by the pond yesterday morning when, with a dramatic flurry of wings, a pair of mallards descended from a clear, blue sky and skidded to a halt amongst the duckweed!

Never before have we had mallards on the pond, but this pair were clearly seeking out a convivial new home.

Rupert licked his lips nervously. When little more than a kitten, he suffered the indignity of being chased by two peacocks in Holland Park. Ever since, not surprisingly, he has been highly respectful of all creatures with beaks. Cautiously . . . very cautiously . . . he advanced to the edge of the pond . . . but the ducks were unimpressed. Clearly pleased with this new venue, they carried out a careful investigation of the pond's amenities, then scrambled out and sat on the rim to preen.

This morning they were still here, and it seemed only right to tell my good friend Sacha.
Sacha, who is six, is very much my second-in-command when it comes to feeding the fish.
I told him about the ducks, and we stood by the pond, watching the antics of the colourful new arrivals.
"I hope they won't eat the fish," I said a little anxiously.
"Oh no," Sacha was keen to reassure me, "they won't do that. Ducks don't eat fish."
"What do they eat?" I asked him.
There was a long pause, and Sacha's reply, when it came, was delivered in a tone of calm and unquestionable authority.
"Ducks eat duck-food," he declared.

So now you know . . . there's no possible arguing with that!