Earlier on Sunday I wrote about spring/summer tonics and the healing power of cleavers and nettle. Little did I know that as I was writing that blog, tragedy was occurring down by the pond.
My lovely ducks, Greta and Anka, who have been sitting on eggs together under a flax bush down by the pond, were attacked by a hawk. I found Greta floating dead in the pond, along with one of the big ducklings from Mathilda’s brood. She and the duckling both had one single wound to the back of the neck. At least it would have been quick. Anka was nowhere to be found. Their eggs were cold and one had been eaten. I cracked open one of the other eggs to see what stage they were at – they were probably about a week away from hatching. It would have been Anka’s first brood of ducklings.
I know that living in the country means death as well as life. I grew up on a farm and so have been exposed to all that since a child. But it still makes you sad when a special animal goes.
I really loved the gentleness of Greta and the bossiness of Anka. They were a delightful pair of characters to have around. They would feed out of my hand and trusted me around their precious eggs. They were a lovely part of the Archeus family. Today I will bury Greta, the duckling and Anka and Greta’s eggs.
But there is also another dimension to this story. Greta was Anka’s mum. My mother is very, very ill at the moment and it is very likely she will die in the coming days. Somewhere, Anka may be grieving for her mother and I am grieving for mine. I hope Anka comes back. I think we are going to need each other.
Here is a video I took of Greta the other day as she took a break from her eggs. R.I.P. Greta.