Linus…and Lucille

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Pictures of Linus, Lucille and the babies circa 1978-1979 by Eva

My father would use a lot of eggs in the bakery and we got them from a local farmer.  One time in the autumn, I had to go to the farmer to pick up an order of eggs.  As the farmer was helping me load the eggs in the car, there were three ducklings in the driveway…very young and need I say, adorable?  I remarked to the farmer that I’d never seen ducklings that late in the year.  He remarked that they probably wouldn’t survive because their mother had been killed and the chickens would have nothing to do with them.  Then he said the magic words, “Do you want them?”  Without thinking, I said “Yes!” and he put them in a box with a thick layer of hay on the bottom and we trekked on home.

We had a dog and a cat at the time(Muffin was a miniature schnauzer and Buster Brown was a red tabby).  My parents were not overly pleased…but they were always good sports when it came to pets.  I named them Lucy, Linus and Charlie Brown.  My dad had a small greenhouse in the back yard and for most of the winter that was warm enough because there was a small heater installed for his plants.  On the really cold days and nights, they would be brought into the basement.

Lucy and Charlie Brown weren’t nice to Linus(I must say now, that all three were males…something I didn’t know when they were young).  They would chase Linus away from the food and the warm bedding…I was always rescuing Linus that winter and come Spring, we knew that three male ducks were two ducks too many.  I asked the farmer that Spring if he would take the two back because he had a small pond out back.  He did and asked if I wanted a little female.  I took the little female home and named her Lucille.

At this point, I had a little house for Linus and a little plastic kiddy pool. Lucille had started laying eggs in the house and I had been taking them away.  She finally had enough of that nonsense and eventually found the pipe that was under the driveway and laid her eggs.  Every afternoon at 4 PM she would come out of the pipe chirping away, hungry, thirsty and ready for a swim.  When that was completed, she would make her way back to the pipe. (being the person I am, I worried about her being in that pipe but there was nothing that would entice her to come out…)

Linus pretty much kept to his own routines while this was all going on…living much the bachelor existence.

Then…one day…Lucille did not come out of the pipe alone…four fluffy yellow ducklings followed her…they ate, drank and swam…and then would go back to the pipe.  After a while, they took over Linus’s house.

And Linus ran away.  Our neighbor down the street called us up that night and said, “Don’t you love your duck anymore?” and let us know where Linus was hiding…inside a bush.  He was traumatized by his new family.  My dad and I went down to bring him home.

We realized that as much as we adored the ducklings, we couldn’t keep Lucille and the ducklings(oh they were so adorable!)…and we found a home for them along a lovely stream.  Once again, Linus was an “only” duck and that was just how he preferred it!

More Linus stories to come…

til next time…Eva


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