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July 02, 2008


I know you doubt it, but I choose to think the cute little guy made it.

I'm surprised no one jumped in the water and tried to intervene (especially the dog owner). That's just shameful.

Oh dear. Both, I guess.

I'm afraid I laughed too... not that it isn't very sad. But, I laughed.
Nature is one Tough Cookie and I think of such things everytime I pray, "Thy will be done."
Tell that to the little ducky! ...I guess it's good we can laugh.

Sad story but part of life, I guess. It's good you didn't see feathers fly or blood. But what I want is your cooking! Wish I'd been along on that yummy picnic.

Cordelia, I wondered why the owner didn't jump in, too. It all happened very fast, and far out in the water, but I think the owner was frozen and all the bystanders were sort of waiting for him to act, and then it was over. I was way too far away to get there. I wonder if he had beaten the dog if people would have been just as shocked at that - the French are real nature-lovers, idealizing and romanticizing it, and seem way more sensitive to the rights of animals and even plants than I'm used to. They were crazy about films like "Winged Migration" and the one about the penguins - and of course, the French gave us Jacques Cousteau! On another occasion a friend of mine did jump into one of these lakes to rescue a baby duck she thought (erroneously) was in danger.

Your blog is very interesting and I read it regularly.

Today I was struck by the juxtaposition between your duckling story and the mention of your lunch chicken. At least one bird didn't "make it".

Which animals are "worth" rescuing? At who's cost/inconvenience?
Food for thought.

Kia ora Beth,
I don't know if I agree that is Nature's Way in a park where the dog was brought into the scene by its owner. Not exactly the Kahlahari plains and survival of the fittest. The chicken reads delightful, I'm hungry! Kia ora Beth.

EJ, I'm glad you enjoy the blog, and thanks for your comment - I wondered if anyone would pick up on that. Yes, the killing we don't see is so much easier to ignore, isn't it?

Robb, my feeling exactly. Dog owners who let their dogs run in parks and near water ought to be thinking about the consequences. I don't blame the dog, anymore than I blame a cat for catching songbirds - hunting is in their nature. We're the ones who have to exercise control; it's part of the responsibility that comes with domestication. If a hawk had come out of the sky and snatched the duckling, I think everyone would have felt differently.

for me, it would have been just a tragedy. I love ducks and used to have them here, sometimes they will drop out of the sky into my backyard pond. One year we had one arrive that had been attacked by something and we fed her until she healed. The next year she returned with a mate and babies. They were safe in our yard. No dogs.
There is nothing more joyful then a duck in a puddle or the rain.

You can't easily stop a dog like that when it's onto something... I think I felt most cross with the owner fro doing something so intrusive as throwing a ball into the water for a big dog to chase anyway, with the conesequences of disturbing wildlife and other park users...

I'm quite intrigued by the couple smoking the water pipe!

A well-told story! As the parent of a child who occasionally makes me squirm, I feel for the owner, who was probably tossing the ball the same way he had done dozens of times before.

Depending on the dog, the duckling might have made it. Some retrievers have a soft "mouth" and can bring birds back to their masters unharmed.

I also wondered why no one dared say anything to the dog-owner. Over here in the UK someone would definitely have had a go at him. Throwing a ball for the dog to catch in a duck pond is either stupid or callous or both.
But I agree, sympathy for animals is indeed inconsistent: which one do we give our support to? The baby duck? The dog? The dog-owner? The chicken that was made into a tasty salad?
All of these? None of these?

Great story in any case :)

i'd say tragedy, although the bit of irony with the duckling's unfortunate buoyancy could be a bit comedic in a sad sort of way. great story--well told! loved it. i'm drooling over your picnic too, btw.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.