Friday, September 11, 2009

Washing Duck Bottoms

You can't take a dirty duck to the fair.... Which is how we found ourselves wrestling with Perfect Man and Dynamo last week before the Saanich Fair.

**Note the hooked talons at the end of Perfect Man's webbed feet.

What you can't see in the photo is how big his leg muscles are. Combine strong legs, wicked claws, and ill humour and you have a lethal weapon indignantly struggling in your arms...
Which is how I wound up with a nasty laceration on my thumb.
Said laceration bled a lot - and blood stains on snowy white ducks just don't look right.

Out came our heavy-duty industrial gloves. Waterproof and tough enough to withstand gouging by furious duck, they protected me well through the rest of the bathing ordeal.
All of this happened down at the barn, of course - so the only available first aid stuff was horse-sized. Here we're carrying the (spotless) ducks down to the truck, tender thumb well protected.
So, how did they do? Dynamo and Perfect Man were the only two Muscovies in the Junior Division (having been entered by the nieces) and were housed together in a large display cage. They won first and second place ribbons in their class, though we are not sure which duck came out on top (they don't wear nametags and the judge didn't make any sort of note on their entry cards re. who was the superior drake...)
The judging took ages and was a very serious business involving much scribbling on clipboards, leaning over cages, studying the birds from all angles, consultations with second and third judges so I didn't dare interrupt to ask what makes a great Muscovy. We were also busy with the horse show at the time, so when, eventually, I returned to the waterfowl area, the judges and other officials had completely disappeared. This means I'll have to arrange an interview with a fowl judge to see if I can get to the bottom of the mystery of which of the boys is the superior duck and why...
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