Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feeding the Ducks

As our days shorten and get cooler, our appetites sharpen. It’s no different for ducks. This morning I fed a few mallards in the park. They fought over the morsels – the bread was whole wheat, after all, not the cheap white imitation they normally receive. Bread in beak, they toddled over to the river bank to dunk their findings before gobbling them down. Then they scrambled over a mound of fallen leaves and came back for more. Greedy buggers. I had five thick slices but all went quickly.

I love birds – especially graceful blue herons and egrets (which unfortunately do not venture as far north as Montreal). It must be their sense of freedom. The closest I come to seeing the world from the air is in a plane and I have to first buy tickets and go to the airport. The birds just spread their wings and lift off.

Yesterday I saw a flock of ducks flying in formation, practicing for the long journey south. I admired their discipline. I have trouble getting out of bed some chilly mornings.

It feels good to feed them. By now they’ve grown accustomed to the sound of my voice and look out for me. They do not totally trust humans. It’s hunting season here and from the trees across the water comes the sound of guns.

I wish I could keep them all safe.

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