My neighbors across the street have an oak tree in their yard. On any given day you will find a variety of wildlife searching the ground beneath it for their breakfast, lunch, dinner, in between meal snack, etc. Sometimes, if I'm awake early enough, I'll see a deer or two. This morning I got a very pleasant surprise. Two ducks, one male and one female, were waddling around the yard. The first spring that we lived in this house (seven years ago) there were two ducks that used to come into our front yard everyday for almost a week. There are two ponds around the corner from us so I thought they may have just needed a change of scenery. We fed them crackers and bread and the occasional chocolate chip cookie. They were very friendly but wouldn't let you touch them. I guess it was time for the female to lay her eggs so, after about a week, we didn't see them anymore. I did, however, notice a pair of ducks on my 'round the corner neighbor's little pond. It was the perfect location to start a new family. When I saw them this morning I wondered if they could possibly have been the same pair that blessed us with their presence seven years ago. I don't know the life expectancy of a duck honestly. I do know that ducks mate for life. Geese do too. Years ago I worked for a school for kids that were deemed too much trouble for a regular school setting. It was a residential school where kids stayed all week and then got to go home on the weekends and during vacation time if the situation at home allowed for it. The school grounds were inundated with Canada Geese. Every spring, there would be nests and babies scattered throughout the campus. Some of the kids paid them no mind while others would constantly harass them. There was a pair of geese that made their nest right outside my office window. I fed them everyday. The female never came off of the nest. She would guard it with her life. It eventually got to where they were comfortable enough to let me close enough to toss bread to Mother Goose. The kids would try to go near the nest but would inevitably be chased away by the hissing Father Goose. One day I caught several kids throwing rocks at them. After telling them that they were going to get into a lot trouble if they didn't leave the geese alone (believe me when I tell you that a majority of these inner-city kids have seen it all by a very young age and my empty threats were only heeded due to their respect for me and all the candy I used to sneak to them!!), I told them how geese are partners for life. I told them how they would defend their nests and their babies and what good parents they were. These kids really paid attention to what I was saying. I never had to tell them to leave the geese alone again after that day. I even overheard, thru the window, one of the kids explaining to another that wasn't there that day how protective geese were. I could probably count on one hand how many of those kids had two parents that were committed to being partners for life. And, if those parents had taken lessons on child-rearing from Mother and Father Goose, chances are those kids wouldn't have had to attend a residential school for troubled kids to begin with.
Many blessings ~ Wendy