*UPDATE* This morning, the 30th, our last duck, our “one tough duck” Handsome, died. We are all sick about it. But we’re reminded how awful death really is, and how Jesus conquered death. Someday, someday soon, death will die.
It’s never a good sign when my kids come pounding on the kitchen door with frantic looks on their faces during morning chores.
Raccoons visited during the night and managed to reach into the sleeping ducks, pulled their heads through the fence and began feasting. The dogs ran them off but not fast enough. Two of the girls were dead this morning, our third (and last) girl died later.
What we still have (at this moment) is our boy, our one-winged Handsome. Handsome is one tough duck. He must have nine lives because he’s been through plenty of trauma in his short life already.
He’s pretty stunned of course, and weak. He has wounds in the same places, along his neck and back. The first thing we did this morning is put plenty of fresh, clean straw down in the pen. And, of course, remove his friends.
The best thing you can give an animal that is wounded or sick is your love. The next best thing is medicine. We wrapped him up slowly and snuggly in a clean towel, and spoke soothingly to him. We still don’t know if he’ll make it, but added stress from the voices and mannerisms from his keepers would not help him one spit.
We gently wiped his wounds, soaking in the good herbal tea I made. And we coaxed and encouraged him to drink some water that I had dissolved homeopathic arnica into.
I think the dogs felt badly, too.
The worst part is always telling the little kids and watching their faces fall and tears overflow. I hate death. I can’t wait for death to die. Come, Lord, quickly.
The herbal tea I made was based on a mix I have prepared for a postpartum bath, with comfrey, uva ursi, shepherd’s purse, myrrh and arnica. I added to it a pinch of cayenne and some calendula, and lamented I was out of yarrow and goldenseal; I would have added those if I had them. To the warm tea, I added a drop of Ocotea essential oil. This tea is what we used to clean and bath our wounded duck with, and we’ll do it again two or three more times today if he lives.
Making arnica water was easy. I dissolved about five 30x tablets into some water.
It was a sober morning. I already miss the pleasant soft quacking my little flock made as they wandered around during the day, freely. The couple dozen duck eggs in the fridge feel out of place. The silence of death hangs low, and we are sad.