I broke two of my primary rules today. 1. I do not go to pick up animals at peoples homes. 2. If I do get suckered into it, I DO NOT go to a trailer park.
I got three calls from a man yesterday about a duck. When we finally got done playing phone tag and talked, he told me it was a female baby duck. I asked how he could tell it was female? He said it was “One of them ducks that the boys are green. She isn’t green.”
Ok, flags raised and waved.
It is the first week of May. IF (and there are not yet) there were baby ducks, they certainly would not have feathers. AND.. a juvenile mallard (the green ones) does not have it’s colors or tail curl till it’s first molt at about 4 months old. I explained this to him.
He said. “What makes you think you know so much about ducks?’
I was silent and bit my lip for a moment before responding. “You called me because I rehabilitate wild life. If I rehabilitate wildlife for 30 years, I believe I know more about ducks than you.”
He said. “my wife found the duck in the park and it was really skinny and not doing well, but now it was eating a doing good.” He said he read on the internet that they need other ducks to do good and he couldn’t keep it in the trailer.
I told him that what he had was a “Tractor Supply duck”. People buy them when they are cute and little and when they discover how damn messy ducks are they take them out a dump them. I deal with them every year. They seldom survive being Dumped. I told him he could bring me the duck and it could join my others. ( a number of them “Tractor Supply Ducks”)
“I can’t. I don’t drive. I’m a stay at home dad. My wife drives the car. (Images of ankle monitors flashed through my mind). I asked if he could meet me in town (I often meet people on Thursdays between errands) “No, I can’t leave the kids”
Against my better judgement. I said I’d pick it up at three. He gave me the address. IT WAS A TRAILER PARK. Near Chums Corners.
I had to use GPS to find the place and even Siri got confused. The road was a solid pothole, but I got there just after three.
Eww…Broken bicycles and vacuum cleaners littered the driveway and yard. A pile of garbage and no less that 4 empty Budweiser boxes were tossed by the door. I pulled my sleeve over my knuckles so I wouldn’t have to make skin contact as I knocked on the grubby door.
A skinny, shirtless, teenage boy in pajama bottoms and a phone clutched in his hand answered. Marijuana smoke rolled out and blinded me for an instant. I noted that his afro was flat on one side, like I had woken him up. No sign of a “Stay at home dad”.
I said I was there for the duck.
“She ain’t here”
“My sista got her. She go ta pick up the kids at da bus. She be right back”
I was boiling at this point. Who the hell takes a duck to go to the bus stop? But I managed to hold it back. I sat in the car, in the driveway for 20 minutes before going back and kicking the door with the toe of my shoe.
Half-hair came back, clearly irritated that he was interrupted again. I asked about his sister.
“I don’t know where she be. Maybe she go to McDonalds.”
That was it. I left. I had wasted almost an hour and still had to drive all the way back. On my way, I called the “House husbands” phone and told him that I came to get the duck, but now he could shove it up his ass, flappy feet and all.
It won’t change anything, but I felt better.
Rule one and two are going to be posted near every phone from now on.
I DON”T come pick up animals at people’s homes.
I won’t go to trailer parks.
Don’t ask me. Nope. Not again. Never.
At least not today.