Between what ages would a person be to have read the title of this blog post as a cartoon jingle, and what after school snack are you now craving?
On the first brutally cold morning of this artic storm in Oklahoma (in every where), our two ducks were so cold they were struggling to walk in the south coop, so we quickly brought them into the house to warm up. They took up residence in the downstairs (pink) baththroom and have provided loads of entertainment ever since. Their bathtub days are numbered, though, as the forecast continues to imporove, so I am sharing a few stories to really soak up the moment.
First, Klaus believes this is all for him. He believes we brought them indoors for his pleasure alone, and he has established a routine where two or three (or seven) times per hour he interrupts us, staring unblinkingly at us from his soul, and leads us to the closed bathroom door. The instant we open the door and he can see the ducks, his tail starts wagging. No, his whole, long, substantial body starts wagging. He grins wolfishly and pants in a baritone way, gazing left and right and in small, slow circles as Rick Astlee and Mike Meyers Lemon scuttle around the towel-lined bathtub. After a few minutes of tense but safely guarded interaction, we escort Klaus out and close the door. For the next three or four minutes, our gentle giant finds the nearest stuffed animal and thrashes it hard, violently I am afraid; then he runs back and forth across the concrete floor, smiling like it’s his birthday. Then he usually falls asleep. This routine is literally the first thing he does upon waking up in the morning and the very last thing he does before retiring at bedtime. We are powerless against his begging. I do not know how we will handle the emotional void when the ducks return to their chicken flock.
Next, the ducks are noisy. I mean, quacking is the least of it. They are big and strong (for ducks, at least, in my limited duck experience) and highly energetic. They make lots and lots of racket, especially when we run them some warm bath water to play in. Today as we exited the bathroom for them to swim peacefully alone, they went bezerk. Mike Meyers Lemon especially flipped upside down, spun in tight little counterclockwise circles, and dove repeatedly, in that wonderful dramatic duck-swoop way, into the foot-deep warm water. It was quite a sight. Even without the water to splash, though, they climb and wrestle and pitter patter nonstop until about 9:00 p.m. It’s amazing and sweet.
Also, my favorite beach towel: Will my favorite beach towel, which I grabbed that first day to warm up the ducks, ever be the same again after their indiscriminate filthiness? No. The ducks defacated all over it and embedded seed like it was a mosaic project. Goodbye, blue and green sea turtle beach towel that was the perfect length for me. You died a noble death. Thank you for all the paperback reading-sunburn-on-the-deck memories.
The ducks’ indoor adventure has coincided with the widespread energy crisis in Oklahoma (and beyond), at the epicenter of which my husband has been working an average of 16 hour days. He is virtually undistractible while working this hard on something this important; but today at a relatively calm moment, he heard the ducks’ chaos from his upstairs office. My tall, handsome, super smart, thunder-and-lightning bolt husband appeared just to playfully reprimand our temporary houseguests: “You ducks better caaaallmmm doooowwn! That’s enough! You’re being crazy! We are gonna have to burn this bathroom down after this!” Sadly, they ignored him wholesale and continued their white water party. This man has been crafting large scale, unheard of solutions to unprecedented crises all week long, fearlessly confronting people in much higher positions than his. And then he was ignored and flatly disobeyed by a pair of two year old water fowl.
One more note about the ducks’ indiscriminate filthiness: The smell is pretty special. Have you ever been to, like, a herpatarium at the zoo, and there is also a cat’s litter box in there for some reason?