Don’t Entrust Your Ducks To Just Anyone—Beth Trissel

Years ago, I raised ducks for our farm pond–a story in itself–and then decided to take on several ducklings offered to me by a kindergarten teacher who hatched them in the classroom incubator and needed a home for the little quackers. I housed them safely in an unused dog kennel and decided to raise them for friends who have a smaller pond on their farm. One was a white Peking duck and the other two were white with markings, probably some mixed up kind of ducks.

Oh, the care and effort I put into those ducklings and the pride to see them thrive and grow into bright-eyed, trusting souls who greeted me eagerly. Ducks have lots to say and these were especially friendly. And handsome. But after generously gifting my feathered friends to human friends, I later learned they hadn’t received the care I assumed they would, nor were they checked on regularly.  No food was forthcoming, or water provided when the pond dwindled from drought. That hadn’t occurred to anyone. In fact, I was casually informed the ducks were nowhere to be found. Their disappearance wasn’t even noted at any particular time. Not that anyone was concerned, of course. Except me. Why had I let them go to such a negligent home?

Earlier this summer, my 2011 art major graduate daughter Elise was entrusted with a tiny aloe vera plant that was on its last leg, or leaf, by a college friend of hers. Between the two of us, this pathetic specimen has made an amazing comeback, and we both revel in its progress. Now, my conscientious daughter is making noises about giving it back. ‘What?’ I say. ‘To the negligent plant person?’ It’s gonna be the duck thing all over again.

To those of you without much fondness for ducks or plants, this lesson can be cross-applied to anything you’ve put time and effort into nurturing.  Don’t entrust what you care about to just anybody. This also includes your kids.

About BethTrissel

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles. And nonfiction about gardening and country life.

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17 Responses to Don’t Entrust Your Ducks To Just Anyone—Beth Trissel

  1. Lovely story. We’ll be visiting Washington DC and Northern Virginia the end of Oct. Could you conjure up some blazing fall follage for us?

  2. Patty Froese says:

    Oh, I so agree with this post! So, so, so agree… To love and nurture a child or a pet, and then to hand them over to someone who won’t appreciate or properly care for them… No, that just can’t be. I’m sorry for your ducks. Shame on those people for not caring for them properly!

  3. Knowing you Beth, that must have broken your heart! It would mine! I’ve found that a tender heart is both a blessing and a curse, one that I accept gladly. Yours is evident in all your writings. God bless those poor little ducks.

  4. Amen to that, Beth! That’s exactly why my DH and I decided that I should be a stay-at-home mom, even though we’d both just graduated with a Masters in English. I was home until our son was 4, but started doing temp work when he was 3 and putting him in day care. Then his first day at Pre-K was my first day at work full time. (He could read when he started school).

    I lasted 1 1/2 years, then couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to be the one to take him to swim lessons, to the library, and to be the one he turned to if something was wrong, not some stranger who could abuse that trust. It was my right at his Mom. Today, I’m watching him fly the coop as a senior at LSU, living in his own apartment. He knows I’m there, and I only pray as I release him out into the wilds.

  5. nan12jar says:

    Lovely post. I think that explains why I’m now childminding my granddaughter one and a half days a week, Beth. Having reluctantly gone back to work 3 days only per week the other gran does the rest so we are keeping that care in the family!

  6. Lisa Rayns says:

    Oh, you have no idea what a timely post this is for me-not the ducks but the whole nurturing thoughts. Very well put. Thank you!

  7. I love this Beth, so true <3

  8. “Being a mother is a sacred trust.”

    Nicely said, Beth.

  9. Pingback: Your Family Garden Could Very Well Suit Your Daily Life | emschiefs

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