Every spring, as part of a science lesson, the kindergarten class in my kids’ school raises chicks and ducks. They obtain eggs from a local farm, incubate them in the classroom for several weeks, talking about what is going on inside the eggs, and keep their fingers crossed that a fair number successfully hatch.
Assuming a good crop, the birds then spend the next few weeks living in the classroom by the day, gawked at and petted by small children as they rapidly grow, and at some or other student’s home by night, according to which parents feel up to volunteering for bird sitting duty. Eventually, the birds are returned to the farm. What happens to them next, we are afraid to ask.
Having experienced this once with my son several years ago, now that my daughter’s turn rolled around, we were smart enough to volunteer early, when the birds are still relatively small. As they get bigger, so does the mess they make.
So we ended up with a group of 3 ducks over Memorial Day weekend, about 3 days old at the start: Puddle, Squeaky, and Fluffy. There were supposed to be four in this group, but Cutie was the runt of the lot, and did not make it to the weekend. A small life lesson for the kids, I guess.
Anyway, I took the opportunity to make some photographs as they taught themselves to swim in our old kiddie pool. The pool is falling apart and too small for the kids now, but the ducks did not need more than a sliver of water anyway.
If you notice a strange coloration on the top of their heads, it’s because each was marked for easy identification. Although, I have to say, by the end of the weekend, after watching them closely for a while, we could tell them apart as much by their behavior as anything. They did each have their own little personality.