The Old Crows
When I bought my house one thing that was included in the deal was a mallard drake who I named Howard. His companions were ten bantam chickens. He lived with them in the fenced chicken yard. I let him out every day so he could patrol the yard for slugs and bugs. He was too fat to fly more than a short distance, but that was OK because me and the chickens were now his flock.
Howard was an angry duck. He’d come up to me looking like he wanted some attention or food, and as soon as he got close enough he’d clamp his bill onto my pants leg and shake furiously. This was something he did daily. I wondered what his problem was. I was always kind to him. He was well fed and he had a safe shelter away from the elements and predators.
I figured that maybe he wanted the companionship of his own kind so that spring I went to Brims and got three duck companions for him. They were named Thing Fish, Sister Ob'Dewlla 'X' and Sister Jasmine Noxema-Tapioca. (Zappa fans will understand)
Once the ducklings were large enough to take care of them selves I let them wander around with Howard. He, being a dominant drake was only concerned in mounting them, even the other drake. Howard went both ways.
There are two really cool things about ducks. First being that you will never see a slug on your property as long as you have a duck. The next fun thing is that mowing the lawn is like a parade. The ducks would always follow behind the lawn tractor catching and eating insects that were disturbed in the process.
It’s been many years since I’ve had a duck. I think of getting some every spring when Brims has them for sale. I kind of miss them, however a few years ago three crows have taken a shine to my place. I’ve named them Bob, Cheryl and Jim. They are pretty quiet and watch me as I do yard work making sure they don’t draw my attention. After I cut the grass they hop down and clean up the insects. The ducks followed right behind the mower, but the crows wait. These three have been a fixture at my place for several years now. I have no idea if they are the same family I first noticed many years ago, but I like to think they are. If so we are becoming old crows together