Once upon a time (last April) a very lucky farm girl got four ducklings for her birthday from her husband - two pekins and two mallards.
She set the ducklings up in a brooder box with a heat lamp and shavings and food and water.
They quickly outgrew the brooder box, so they moved into the back of a horse trailer, complete with weeds and grass, dirt, branches and a little pond.
A few weeks later the farm girl and her husband visited a local farm and found themselves the proud parents of three more pekin ducklings.
The seven ducklings grew all through the summer.
Everyone got along and they played together all day.
Four of the pekins turned out to be females named Sonia, Sasha, Brigid and Penelope.
One turned out to be a curly-tailed drake, so Gretchen was renamed Gregory.
Bob grew into a beautiful female duck (yes, Bob is a girl, but that's a story for another day)
And it soon became apparent that the other mallard was a drake, who was eventually named Green Duck.
Everyone was happy at the little farm until the drakes' testosterone kicked in. Then Green Duck started attacking poor Gregory with a vengeance, fighting him for his harem. Green Duck was relentless, chasing Gregory around the run, yanking his tail feathers out.
It got so bad that Green Duck was drawing blood and biting Gregory on the neck. Gregory was the much larger duck but he was so gentle he wouldn't even fight back.
The farm girl decided that Green Duck had to go, but not wanting to put him on Craig's List or on a flyer at the feed store where he might be eaten or used to train duck hunting dogs, she decided to re-home Green Duck (with Bob to keep him company) to the lake behind their farm. She brought the two ducks down to the lake and let them go. The pair waddled down to the water, plopped in and happily swam away. The farm girl and her husband figured that was the end of that. They were wrong...
Three days later, Bob appeared at the gate to the run right around dinner time. The farm girl opened the gate and Bob waddled right back in.
For the next few months, Bob seemed content living in harmony with the five pekins and the chickens on the farm. She swam in the pool, and looked for bugs and worms, she ate grass and sat in the sun, quacking happily from morning until night except when she was eating.
Now, the farm girl's husband likes his peace and quiet when he comes home from work and Bob's quacking started to annoy him. He finally said Bob had to go or she was going into the fryer.
The farm girl knew her husband had been very tolerant of Bob's racket, and she also knew that Bob, being a mallard, really needed a larger place to swim and fly unlike the pekins. She also knew that Bob was a bit lonely, being the only mallard and might even miss Green Duck a bit (even tho he was SO mean), so the farm girl got out the carrier and got Bob ready to be re-homed again. This time she decided to take her a bit further.
Bob settled into the carrier, nervous but excited about her adventure.
The farm girl and Bob got to their destination, a friend's house on a lake, about 45 minutes away. It was beautiful, with lots of space to swim and a pretty yard with bird feeders (cracked corn and sunflower seeds ! Bob thought happily).
There were lots of mallards swimming in the lake and even a neighborhood bantam rooster who roams from yard to yard. The farm girl's friend puts out food for the ducks and has visitors in her backyard all day long. She even had a mallard lay eggs in a nest next to her koi pond last spring and found the ducklings swimming in the little pond.
The farm girl's friend opened the carrier to give Bob her first look at her new home.
Bob flew across the backyard and out over the lake. Her new home will be perfect for her. It is a private lake where wildlife rehabilitators regularly release ducks and geese they have rescued.
The five pekins will miss Bob, and so will the farm girl, but her husband smiled and said he could finally hear the birds singing while he was sitting out on the back patio this evening. He is alot happier, so that makes the farm girl happier. Now they can all live happily ever after.