Who Knew Ducks Were Rascist?

I could hear the ducks raising hell out in back and since the bobcat is loose in the house the doggy door is closed and Sophie is inside. (Not that Sophie has ANY inclination of going outside, in the dark, to investigate noises)
So I grab a flashlight with dying batteries, wake the dog and drag her outside. We walk all the way to the back fence and the ducks are indeed, raising hell about something. The flashlight is now down to the brightness of a wet candle, but I make out the source of their distress and the reason they are all pasted against the far side of the pen.
A turkey. A lone bronze turkey, smaller than most of the ducks and looking very confused is standing in the middle of the duck pen. The turkey pen and the duck pen share a common wall. It has taller fence and high bird netting on the turkey side. Somehow though, the little bugger had flown over, but instead of freedom, he found himself in the wrong neighborhood.
The ducks were livid. You would have thought he was a bird flu carrier or a rabid fox. They all shouted obscenities as I picked him up and carried him from the pen. Two of them demanded that I change their food dish and water pool, just in case he drank or ate from them.
I apologized to the turkey for their behavior and assured him that someday he would be 5 times bigger and prettier than them and face it, who the hell would want DUCK for Thanksgiving dinner? I’m sure he felt a bit better as I returned him to the pile of turkeys in the big pen. That’s when I noticed that there was even more segregation. The geese sleep in one pile, the chickens in the shelter and the turkeys way over by the gate.
Who knew.
On the way back to the house, the flashlight went out like a rejected firefly and Sophie and I were surrounded by darkness. Actually, it was nice. The gnats that had been madly pelting us in the face dispersed and it was calm.
We could hear crickets in the garden and somewhere a treefrog called out for rain. I looked up to see if he was succeeding and saw the brilliance of the stars. There was no moon to compete and they were almost as dazzling as I remember them from my childhood.
My father would spread a blanket out in the yard and we would lay with our heads on his chest or arm. He’d smoke his sweet smelling pipe and point out the Big Dipper, Mars and the Milky way. he used to say if you listened hard enough, you could hear them sing.
In the darkness tonight, I could almost smell his pipe tobacco and feel the rumble of his bass voice in his chest. The night chill was the same and I longed for the warmth of his arm. The milky way doesn’t seem as bright without him.
Oh I know, it’s light pollution and older eyes that don’t see in the dark as well, but I think it’s also that a bright star in my life is no longer there. No matter how old you get. You always miss your dad.
Sophie, unappreciative of the stars and longing for the couch, started to whine. I shook the flashlight, hoping to resurrect it enough to guide me through the minefield of deer poop. Sadly, it failed to shine again and I’ll be washing my slippers tomorrow. We came in the house and Sophie is now snoring at my feet.
The ducks have gone quiet and I can still hear the crickets and that lone tree frog calling for rain. I don’t know if he will get his wish or not, but we could use the moisture. It’s been a bit dry of late.
I think I’ll put the cat away and go to bed, but first……I’m going to go look up at the stars and listen to them sing.

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