Little Ms. Bitty

Excerpt From Jane's World

I tend to be naturally drawn to the smallest of my ducklings. And so it was with Little Ms. Bitty.

When ducks are babies, several breeds look alike, but Ms. Bitty stood out. She was tiny and had beautiful markings and fine black lines on her face. I hadn’t ordered a mallard duck, but that’s exactly what Bitty is.

Bitty was a consolation gift. When I went to pick up my new babies from Chet’s in Richland Center, he had bad news for me: two of my ducklings hadn’t survived being shipped here. He offered me two mallards. I said I’d take one and that it had to be a female. After picking up a few mallards and sexing them, Chet handed me Ms. Bitty, saying, “I think this is a female. There’s a fifty percent chance I’m wrong. If so, it’s a male.”

I held Bitty in the palm of my hand and compared her to the rest of my new flock. She was petite and perfect. Chet offered to clip her wings for me, but I declined.

Driving home with a box full of ducklings on my front seat, I was in heaven. I loved listening to their soft noises, and I could hardly wait to introduce them to their new home.

Their first lodging was a black tub that fit inside an old wooden crib that I bought at a rummage sale. An L-shaped board wedged between the tub and the crib served as a hanger for the heat lamp. A clean, red-and-white water bowl and an old saucer full of food sat on top of clean pine shavings.

When Dane came over to see the babies, he noticed Bitty right away and warned me, “She’ll never stay home. She’ll take off first chance she gets.”

Read the rest of the story in the Crawford Country Independent & Kickapoo Scout.

Originally Published June 8th, 2017 in the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout