You were nice enough to send me an egg, and the incubator I built myself. I have 4 other little brothers and sisters, so the egg was being turned and watched and kept quite humid all the time.
I would check it under candlelight every now and again to see if I could see any development, and even though I was sure I did, none of my siblings (or my parents) would believe me. So you can imagine their shock when I came down one morning to check on my little baby and saw a tiny beak sticking out of the egg. He was very slow in hatching, but I stayed with him all day and talked to him through the egg. But still, it wasn't until very early the next morning that he was completely free from the egg. I moved him down into the heated area I had prepared for him and within just a few hours he was a cute little ball of fluff.
We named my duck Dudly, or just Dud for short because my family were all convinced that he would never hatch. He has grown a lot since February, and he has become just like a member of the family. He just loves to sit with us at night after school and watch the TV. He gets along well with all the other pets in the household (and there are a lot!). Even our Bassethound Vinnie likes him, the two of them go for walks together through the neighbors yards when it's nice out. But the best part is, he's a better watchdog then our real dog! He parades back in forth in front of my house for hours at a time, and if anyone walks past or tries to come up to the porch he leaps at them and runs around their feet quacking and pecking. He's very protective of his yard, and his family, and the neighbors get a real kick out of it.
He's also helped us out in other ways, I videotaped his hatching, and the first few months of his life, and my sister who is in the 4th grade, used my tape as the topic of her science fair topic and won 2nd prize. Also, when my neighbors came home with 9 baby ducklings that they had found abandoned on the beach, the insight that gained from raising Dud really helped me to help them. The babies all thrived and have since been re-released into the wild.
Dud is just an awesome pet, but we keep him free so he can roam as he wants too. I live right across the way from a lake where a lot of other ducks spend the summer, and when he felt like it he would waddle his way over there and splash around with them. But he would always come back as soon as he saw us in our yard and want to cuddle on our laps, or nestle down for a nap in the garden. We were thinking that he might have wanted to fly south with the other ducks, but so far he is fine staying just where he is. He has a house built for him out in my yard to keep him warm, but he knows he can always just come inside if he wants too.
He has just been such a fantastic pet and I really want to thank you for making it possible. I have included a picture of him so you can see him for yourself. (My vet says we spoil him and he's still a little overweight!) Thanks again for your great service, you've given my family a wonderful friend.
Guard Goose Gertrude|
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