The Right Wing

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.

“Hey, Dave?”


How much do I suck?  Thiiiiiis much!

How much do I suck? Thiiiiiis much!

“Remember that hawk that was incessantly flying overhead about ten minutes ago?”



And we realized that the most likely narrative was this:

Duck. Down.

Duck. Down.

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.

DSC_0051We sequestered the reunited pair in their coop for safety (and peace of mind) and will keep an eye on how he heals over the next week.

And in the meantime, I’m keeping my slingshot loaded and ready.

About applewoodfarm

Restaurateur, farmer, bartender, beekeeper, friend, wife, mother, dog lover, cat tolerater, chicken hypnotizer, blogger, and sometime yogi
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5 Responses to The Right Wing

  1. janetelsbach says:

    Wishing a speedy recovery to Señor Duck. Have you ever tried the miracle stuff known as People Paste? Equal parts slippery elm, myrrh and goldenseal powders. Despite the name, it works well on all kinds of beasts and we’ve had amazing success restoring poked, bitten and otherwise molested chickens with it over the years.

    • Definitely sounds like something worth trying. We were thinking we better get some antibiotic ointment on it just to avoid the possibility of infection as well.

  2. avwalters says:

    Not surprisingly, a good deal of worry and concern. Not too recently, you were people who couldn’t give a fig for messy ducks. Ah, but now they are ducks that you know.

  3. Sue says:

    Forget the slingshot, Maria will come over with a shot gun.

  4. Bill says:

    Wishing Fluffers a full and speedy recovery. And may the offending hawk soon discover that Applewood Farm is not a good place to hunt.

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