Dorothy loves her animals, but even tragedy has a lighter side.

“One dark and quiet night about 12:30, a blood-curdling scream rent the air.  Somehow I knew that one of our neighbor’s dogs had one of my ducks.  We jumped up and ran to the back pasture.  There, sure enough, was a neighbor’s dog dragging the poor drake through the fence toward home.  Ted retrieved the duck, which was already dead, and told me to go into the house while he buried it.  The other duck (the hen) stood around and cried the most pitiful wail ever thought possible.  She grieved for her mate all night long, and the noise was most heart rendering.  I knew what I had to do, so when I knew that my boss would be up in the morning, I called him to let him know that I would be late to work.  I explained about the attack, the dog, and the grieving hen.  My boss knew there was nothing to do but accept the situation as gracefully as he could.

As soon as the wholesale producers would answer their phones, I began explaining my problem to them.  All that any of them had to sell were frozen ducks.  This would hardly serve the purpose.  And all the while I could hear the grieving hen.  This drove me on.  I tried producer after producer, all with the inevitable offer of frozen ducks.

I finally reached one woman who probably thought that I was slightly mad.  She did have one young drake (alive) that she would sell to me.  Naturally, she lived forty-five miles away.  I hurriedly got in my car to drive after the new mate for my hen.  When I arrived, the woman explained to me that all drakes do not appeal to all hens.  I declared that it was worth the risk as she had the only one that was not frozen in Northern California.  I paid for the drake and stuck him in a cardboard box with the lid open enough to admit air, put the box on the back seat of my station wagon, and drove off.

Then I began to worry, would the hen accept this drake?  If not how far would I have to drive to obtain another one?  And how much time would my boss feel as adequate to take off in the interest of duck romancing?  All of these thoughts were going through my head as I was driving down the freeway.  Suddenly I came to the realization that occupants of other cars were driving erratically, and staring at the station wagon with more than a passing interest.  I whirled around and looked at the back seat.  The drake had somehow gotten out of the box and was sitting up on the back seat as big as you please, with his head out of the window, staring at the occupants of passing cars.  Somehow I knew that I had the right duck.  He was “one of us,” my worries were over.”

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