I knew when we hit a line of traffic several times from the turn off we should have left even earlier...and I should have stopped at the Speedway for coffee. We puttered along in that line for an hour before we got out of the van. The weatherman had been calling for rain, so umbrella in hand along with a little dog carrier...just in case...Eldest and I began or trek through the long parking area to the goods. And what goods they had! There was so much to look at, but I had one goal in mind...ducklings. I had to put my invisible blinders on to keep from stopping at all the goods and keep my ears open for chirps, crows, and quacks. We stopped at every place we saw that had feathers. There were plenty of adult birds of one kind or another, but no babies. Then I saw a small Shetland sheep that pulled me towards it so I could feel it's fibery goodness and I started a conversation with the man that owns it. Mentioned my disappointment that I hadn't seen any ducklings. Then he said it..., "Ma'am, I have a pair of ducklings in the truck." My response, "Welllllll, my Hon will only let me get Pekins. What'cha got?!" "You're in luck," he said, "they're Pekins." All of a sudden the gray clouds parted, the sun came out, and the rays of light shined down on that man...and his little boy, too." He said, "Son, go fetch those ducklings out of the truck for this nice lady, would you?" The boy sped over to the truck and brought back a 24 pack Mountain Dew cardboard box. Now I know I was getting thirsty, but I really wanted to see those ducklings. He peeled back the top flaps of that box and inside were...brace yourselves...two Pekin ducklings. Then boy told me they're a pair. So my response to the man was, "Are y'all yanking my chain? How can you tell?" He proceeded to tell me when they're as young as they are the female has a pinkish-purplish beak while the male has the more orangish beak and later they'll both have orange beaks. Well I'll be darn, they both had different beak colors. SOLD! I figured if I came home with the pair I could rationalize to Hon that because it's a pair we'd have to keep them until next year so they can lay eggs and we can hatch out more. In other words...Hands. Off. My. Ducks. I paid for those cute little fluffer nutters and they handed me my 24 pack Mountain Dew cardboard box of ducklings.
We did a bit more walking around and then I saw something else that caught my fancy...folks walking around with piglets. Oh boy! I tried to convince Eldest we could cram one in the little dog carrier but he was positive it wouldn't fit. I told him if those folks can walk around with piglets in their arms than so can he. Besides, I was holding the 24 pack Mountain Dew cardboard box. Again, wouldn't go for it. I tried to convince him a baby goat was in order, but again, being the teenager he is, he said, "No way, you're crazy, Mom." Bah!
On our way out we happened to pass another place with Pekin ducklings. From our Pekin duckling sexing lesson of the day we noticed they were all males, although the man said until they get older there's no way to tell. So, we bought two, ahem...males, and scooted out of there just as the rain started coming down. Now we've got a project. Is it going to be correct? Do we indeed have a female and three males...or not? I'm going to keep a close watch on those little quackers to see if in deed that's what we have - one female and three males. If that ends up being the case, I've learned some valuable Pekin duck sexing information. Not only that, we both win. I can keep my pair and Hon can have his two. That will make for a peaceful marriage come the day he wants to take any to the processor.
So, there you have it. We have some ducklings...and a 24 pack Mountain Dew cardboard box full of duckling poop that has found it's rightful place in the garbage can. I won't go into the leaky tire the van developed on the way back or the pouring rain and thunder I had to endure to get enough air in that tire to get us on home. I'll leave that story up to your imagination. Smiling & Waving, Sharon