Pip and Squeak (not their real names) are reproducing. Pip went clucky and because I’d been taking all her eggs, she was sitting on air. Then my friend Jacquie gave me some ducks’ eggs – three – so now Pip is patiently trying to hatch out three Peking ducklings.
Which has left Squeak very lonely. At first he tried to single out one of the hens but Winston didn’t like that at all. There was no way he was going to give up one of his harem to a mere – ahem – pip squeak bantam rooster like Squeak (which of course isn’t his real name at all anyway) and they had some massive fights. Actually, Winston came off second best even though he is bigger. For all his preening and showing off, the bantam rooster is tougher. It was fascinating watching them fight. CCQC couldn’t stand it one morning when we woke up, and streaked across the front lawn, stark naked, bare-footed, trying to break them up, (sorry – the photo was all blurry) but all he achieved was two feet full of thistles which I had to dig out.
Anyway, they soon grew tired of fighting, and when even the chooks repelled Squeak’s advances, he took to hanging around Taja and because she is the most patient, the kindest dog in the world, she tolerates him. Mind you, I overheard her telling him the relationship is strictly platonic. In the morning, we see Squeak accompanying Taja on her rounds, then he sits out front with her, waiting for me to feed her.
He hangs around while she’s eating, eyeing those cat biscuits (yes, it’s a treat for the old dog to have cat chow for brekky), hoping she won’t notice if he pokes his beak in and sneaks a few.
But her tolerance definitely does not extend to sharing her breakfast, and despite the fact she’s 16 years old, she still knows how to scare a bantam rooster away from her dinner bowl.
I just can’t wait to see Squeak’s ego deflate when three ducklings are waddling along behind him calling out “Dad! Dad! Dad!”