River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Letter to the editor

May 2006

A sad end for an enchanting pair of ducks

Dear Ray,

April 18th was a very unhappy day for me. At about 5.15am, I heard a muffled bang from the road as a car went by. It didn't stop, so I forgot about it. However, when I left the house two hours later, I saw a drake dead in the middle of the road. The duck was sitting, neck extended, some fifteen feet away. I removed the poor dead bird and tried to encourage the duck to leave, but she was having none of it and, defiantly, sat right in the middle of the road. The traffic was beginning to build a little by now so I tried slowing vehicles down, realising that I could not carry on indefinitely. Eventually, I kept clapping my hands loudly until she flew down the road a short way and on to the verge. Thankfully, I did not see any more of her.

This was the end of a romance that took place in our garden. Two drakes had courted the duck, she had made her choice, and the two of them had started searching for somewhere to build a nest when the tragedy occurred. I have heard that swans and doves form very firm bonds with their Partners but this duck was a picture of abject desolation. We tend to think of birds being pretty but stupid creatures (hence the term "bird-brain") but there is obviously a lot more to them than I ever knew.

Yours in sadness,

Graham Forster

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