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« Dear Santa, | Main | The Madness Begins »

FarmYard Politics!

My animals have decided that they are entirely against a socialistic society, though this is, in fact, the very culture I have provided for them. The vote against my decision is unanimous, yet I am uninterested in popular opinion. It’s all about the gospel according to DC. You see, it all began with a few scraps of veggies tossed out into the yard as I prepared the (human) family’s evening meal. Once I had a plateful of scraps, rather than tossing them into a compost bin or throwing them down the garbage disposal, I put them into circulation by tossing them into the farmyard. Strawberry tops, carrot skins, lettuce cores, squash bottoms—you name it—all were collected and lovingly tossed to the herd. The animals enjoyed this practice nearly as much as I enjoyed watching them gobble up every last morsel. Understandably, this nightly ritual was a DC farm favorite. I would no more step out my porch door and the animals would come running—bleating, quacking, ba-cocking—for the goodies from my kitchen. In a ceremonial dance of sorts, I scattered the loot, the chickens went bottoms up, the ducks goosed the upended chickens, and the goats bulldogged the greedy ducks in effort to score the juiciest strawberry top.

Eventually, my 11-year-old, who takes care of the animals every morning before school, began noticing that the ducks were eating less and less of their duck crumbles, which I’m entirely certain are delicious considering the price of one bag. After a few mornings of noting untouched food, she brought this to my attention and then informed me that Mr. Quackers (female duck) had failed for several days to produce an egg.

My curiosity was peaked, so I observed.

Lo and behold, my littlest darling was correct. No eggs, no nothing. The ducks would sit in their hut, perched quietly all day beside their heaping food bowl, and wait for supper time to arrive before putting a single bite of food into their bills. Every evening, once the duck-hut door was opened, out would pop two VERY loud, very hungry ducks complete with napkins, salt, and silverware.

Before I continue, let me deviate for a moment to tell you about my two four-month-old male goat kids, Uncle Flopsy and Anikan Skywalker. Anyone familiar with goats can attest that the critters will eat just about anything, but seldom, I discovered, with the enthusiasm that they apply to duck crumbles. My daughter no more drops the duck-hut door and in skids two naughty little goat boys, gobbling yummy duck food for all their worth. My alarmed shouts serve no other purpose than to inform them they are literally down to seconds and that they need to hurry. Here’s my line: “No! You bad goats get out of the duck hut! That’s not your food!” What they hear is: “Ten, nine, eight, eat faster, six, five, here she comes, three, two, RUN!”

Back to my tale.

By the time we realized that laying ducks require a certain amount of protein in their diet and that vegetables do not provide the appropriate amount, Mr. Quackers had gone well over a week without laying an egg, which was unacceptable. The goats, on the other hand, were laying plenty of eggs.

A healthy female duck on a protein-rich crumble diet will lay one egg a day, so I decided to back off the table scraps. Not entirely, but at least enough to force the ducks to eat their crumbles again.

Mr. Quackers didn’t appreciate the healthful gesture at all but, after a very short hunger strike, resumed her duckly duties. Waddlesworth (male duck), on the other hand, was PISSED! I informed him as delicately as possible that the DC Farmery was NOT a democracy, but rather a socialistic dictatorship monarchy, and that I was the queen. I felt that what was good for one duck was certainly good for another, especially since there is no feasible way to allow only one duck out of the hut to eat yummy scraps and not the other—omg! I’d have ‘Occupy DC’ protesters in my back yard quacking about my ‘war against female ducks’. So, by ruling of my almighty court, I declared ‘All ducks shall eat healthy duck crumbles regardless of gender.’

My theory proved valid.

Within days, Mr. Quackers was laying her eggs again, much to the delight of my 11-year-old daughter. Of course, Waddlesworth was not so enthusiastic over the matter. He filed an appeal stating that since he is by default unable to lay eggs that he should not be restricted to a crumble-only diet and, as an adult duck, should be permitted to dine as he sees fit. I upheld my original ruling that this arrangement is entirely unfair to Mr. Quackers who cannot help the fact that she must maintain her health by staying fit and by eating a healthy, crumble-rich diet in order to lays eggs.

Anikan Skywalker and Uncle Flopsy aren’t happy about the ruling either as they no longer have access to their delicious duck crumbles. As a result, both goats have officially sided with Waddlesworth on the matter and have signed PETitions. To date, the dispute has yet to be resolved. Even as I type this, Waddlesworth is in his hut beside an uneaten bowl of crumbles angrily penning a letter to his congressduck.

I’ll keep you posted.

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