It was an otherwise peaceful, sunny day when it happened.
Since none of us actually saw it happen, we’ve had to piece together what most likely happened, and take it from there. Because by the time any of us saw Fluffers, he was, to all appearances, dead as a rock and being eaten by the dogs.
Sophie and I were on the deck when she said, “What have the dogs got?”
I looked and saw Charlie and Darwin nosing into what appeared to be a completely dead duck. I screamed to Dave that the dogs had killed one of the ducks and we ran to see what the heck could possibly have happened.
Now, our dogs are dumb and goofy and sometimes spazzy, but they are not bird killers. They have lived for years harmoniously alongside a great many chickens and have never threatened a single one. So this was confounding. What would have made them do such a horrible thing?
When we got the dogs away from Fluffers, we saw (to our immense relief) that he was not dead, but merely injured on one side. Upon closer inspection, we found a decent sized puncture wound under his right wing but other than that, nothing.
But Chatters was nowhere to be found.
And THAT didn’t make any sense because the two ducks spend all their time together, constantly waddling, side by side, around the farm.
So, when we heard Chatters all the way on the other side of the farm honking for her man, we started putting the pieces together.
“Remember that hawk that was incessantly flying overhead about ten minutes ago?”
And we realized that the most likely narrative was this:
Fluffers and Chatters were tottering along on the other side of the farm when the hawk who had been studying the free-ranging flock for SOME TIME swooped down, grabbed Fluffers (puncturing him with a talon in so doing), made it to the other side of the farm where he could no longer take the weight, and dropped him, creating a movement that captured the attention of the dogs who came running to investigate.
While this helped us both feel immeasurably better about our dogs, we realized what a harrowing experience it had to have been for poor Fluffers. He was visibly shaken (and visibly shaking), bleeding a little, and walking with a decided limp.
And in the meantime, I’m keeping my slingshot loaded and ready.