Squeak the bantam rooster (not his real name), was getting pretty aggressive towards Star the duck, his adopted daughter. Furthermore, I think I’d detected a bit of unnatural animal husbandry being attempted. One day Star, possibly in an attempt to dodge Squeak’s incestuous advances, was sporting a bleeding eye. So I asked my friend Jacquie, who gave me the three fertile duck eggs from which Star hatched, if she had any more spare ducks. As it happened she was about to despatch a few to the freezer. So one was spared, placed in a cardboard box, and brought in to Redbank instead.
What a funny evening that was because Star had never seen a duck before. She thought she was a bantam. When I released this new duck from her cardboard box she rushed over to join Star, who took fright and ran around the house several times, along with Pip and Squeak (not their real names), hotly followed by the new duck. Star, Pip and Squeak (not their real names), thought they were being chased by a monster. It’s the first time I’ve seen Star fly. In fact I don’t think she knew she could fly. Eventually, worn out, they stopped and just looked at each other for ages, with the new duck trying to convince Star that she wasn’t a blimming bantam, she was a duck.
It took them about a week to settle down together. Star’s still not convinced. Pip’s still Mum to her, and they are still the funniest family you’ve ever seen. The new duck’s called Sea, because she came from Whangaimoana, and they all traipse around together.
But then the other evening, as the sun was catching the last light on the vines, I took these lovely photos of Star and Sea nestling down together in the front garden, free from Pip and Squeak (not their real names).