Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I hope the caps and exclamations had Marlon Brando's voice in your mind. In my last post I referred to a little adventure during closing on Monday night. Farm Sanctuary had a missing duck, which is a big deal around here. The animal caregivers, and everybody involved here, are meticulously careful when closing up at night, to make sure each and every animal is safe in his or her home, with friends, and protected from things that go bump in the night. Here, that mostly means coyotes. I helped close Monday night, and we had a missing duck. Stella the duck.

This is a big deal. I helped Molly, the caregiver on closing duties that night, look for Stella for about an hour, as night fell. When we couldn't find her, we called in reinforcements, and soon six people were scouring the farm looking for Stella. Flashlights in hand, the searchers climbed into lofts, tore apart storerooms, looked under buildings and up into trees, and took a "no duck left behind" approach to finding Stella. After about four hours of searching, we decided to wait until morning. We knew Stella was in all probability nesting on an egg somewhere, so she was actively trying not to be found. Nobody liked to give up, but we felt like we examined every square inch of farm where Stella would conceivably have access. Plus, she no doubt had security in mind when she selected a nesting site, so she should be safe.

We hoped she would show up Tuesday morning, but still no sign. Finally, sometime Wednesday morning, Stella was back in her duck house, which is shared with dozen or so rabbits and a couple of other ducks. And a cat. This place is great. No explanation from Stella, and no apologies. Just a duck being a duck. We're glad, and relieved, to have her back. So is Douglas duck, the shelter's resident romantic. More on him later.

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