This morning, we found that our 10 year old duckie, “Dawn”, had peacefully passed away in her sleep. What a lucky duck she was. She’s been with us for a decade and even laid eggs last summer for us. Because she was my buddy for so long it’s particularly hard. It feels like it’s the passing of an era for me — personally.
I’m grateful for having learned from her — one of the first pair of Urban Homestead duckies – and for having the opportunity to share my knowledge of ducks from her with others. She has kept every single batch of young ducks in line and I’m going to miss her “grandma ways” when I get new ducks soon.
For those of you who have met her or have received advice from me about ducks, I hope you have benefited from her life as well.
Although she was gimpy and gray-feathered towards the end, she still was right in the midst of things — chasing the pitchfork as we dug up worms.
It was so reassuring to see her — a constant and long-time presence in the coop. She was goofy, talkative, silly, demanding and so very serene all at the same time.
Sometime ago, I came across this poem and I remembered it today because although the words may seem anthropomorphic, you have to realize that there is God in everything and you just have to see and recognize it. There is always something to learn from every single part of creation.
Dawn was such a longtime presence… she was there as the Urban Homestead grew and changed, as people came to visit, as the media came and went and as I changed, learned, and dealt with the changes around me.
No matter how often people commented with either favor or with hate and vileness about our so-called “fame”, Dawn was there to cock an eye at me with a permanently silly grin and bring me back to the joy and innocence of the animals.
With a bit of luck
Will come into your life.
When you are at the peak
Of your great powers
And your achievement towers
Like a smoking chimney stack.
There’ll be a quack,
And right at your feet,
A little duck will stand.
She will take you by the hand
And lead you,
Like a child with no defense;
She will lead you
Into wisdom, joy and innocence.
That little duck.
We wish you luck.
~ Michael Leunig