Call of the {Wild} Duck

My morning started with a great text from an even greater friend.

“I found this guy who has a LOT of ducks … he has so many … he’s a duck hoarder!!… all kinds … you have to go see him! He’s selling everything!…”

I relay this message to the family over breakfast.

Instantly, the girls wanted to go see these new ducks. I have to admit, so did I. {Can we all still be little children with excitement in our voices and enthusiasm in our day!}

Can we go see them, can we pleeeeeeease, daddy?! All the girls chimed in together … a few hours later after some successful family voting {Daddy is always out-voted – he better get used to this …} and a few phone calls later, we were on our way – loaded the six girls into the big ol’ black suburban and headed down the country highway, excited to find a few more feathered friends for our homestead.

Oh, what adventures to be had in the Gauthier family!

Hmmm … sadly and stupidly, we didn’t check the map and didn’t realize how far away the farm way … 45 minutes later and still driving seemingly lost… our second youngest starts wailing from the back row of the truck …

This little two year old – oh yes, she is prone to motion sickness. We have found out the hard way.


“Quick, grab the bucket!”


Yes, we travel with a stainless steel bucket. You just never know when you might need a good, old fashioned bucket. Especially with Leia in the car.

My husband quickly screeches the truck to a halt, pulls over causing a huge dust cloud to engulf the car, I hastily jump out of the front seat, choke on the swirling dust, fling open the truck’s side door and jump into the back seat and just in time … yes, just in time … thank God ….


I’ll spare you the rest of the details.


Well, a few minutes later, we were back on our {crazy} way … thankful for reverse phone lookup, we eventually found our destination. A big ol’ Italian house, smack dab between Mennonite homes, on a forlorn country road, with what seems like 100s of ducks  and chickens wandering around the few acres of property. This man truly was a duck hoarder.

After some haggling and begging from Mr. Duck City, we finally left with two sweet natured call ducks, two young Silkies and, just for fun, two baby unknown ducks (surprise – we will find out what kind in a few months) …

We loaded up the suburban trunk with the new-found hens and ducklings and proceeded to rally the girls into their seatbelts and car seats for the long drive home … rolling down her window, the 7 year old promised, with a smile, to take care of his ducks  …

“Here,” said the robust Italian farmer … “A free one  — for you.” And through the car window, he tossed in a mid-sized startled white hen, landing quite shockingly on Lyla’s lap. We thanked the gentleman and drove off, ducks quacking, chickens clucking and children chattering about their new animals.



It was quite the ride home.
You should have seen the  drive thru lady’s face when we rolled down the window to order a snack for the way home and a fluffy, white chicken nearly flew out the window at her!

“What?! Was that a chicken?!?!?!” she shrieked, flapping her hands in the air as if she was swatting at a fly … oh yes, we assured her. Indeed it was. Don’t ask. Just pass the coffee over and roll up the window. Did I mention we had a long ride home?



{Insert another Leia incident with the stainless steel bucket a few minutes later. And then move on.}


We arrive home, excited to introduce our new call ducks, Tod & Libby, to their home …

Slowly opening the crate, we placed them carefully into their new pen (they will be free range, but we wanted to make sure they knew where home was for a few days).




Ohhhh, aren’t they beautiful? Truly. They are real cuties in real life. Tiny and rather adorable. A stunning couple.



Everything seemed okay – all was good … but, they were eyeing the small duck pond we had on the other side of the fenced coop. Well, we thought we’d let them try it out …


…big mistake … we opened the coop door and AWAY, so quickly, FLEW our newly-purchased, pure white call ducks …. swiftly and quickly, they flew right over our house and continued for abut two acres …. You see, before you think we are stupid (Well, we probably have already convinced you of that fact), let me explain that most land ducks do not fly in the sense of a bird flying … they fly like  a chicken or run along the ground flapping their wings – but we have never seen our ducks take flight yet … until now.

Shrieking, we ran after the fast moving pair, thinking MONEY DOOOOOOOOWN THE DRAIN … and why in the world didn’t the guy tell us they could fly THAT well?!  How in the world will we catch them now?! Pulling off my sweater as I ran frantically, I mastered up a creative and sneaky plan to snag them by throwing my sweater over them …. again, stupid mistake. My sweater was not even big enough to catch a slow moving turtle, much less a somewhat-flying duck ….


After much prayer and frantic running, hovering with arms wide open and gently talking like a crazy person to these ducks, Abby and I managed to chaotically catch the frightened pair at last. Firmly holding them, we placed them back in the safely back in the coop.



Did I mention this all happened before I could even unbuckle the toddler from the car and take the poor sweet baby out of her car seat?

There truly is never a dull moment around here.


{the new silkies … feeling rather crazy after just chasing the other ducks down ….whose idea was this anyways?!}



Who needs t.v. when you have animals and children in your life?!

We wrapped up the day with good, hot scrubby baths for everyone and fell into our beds exhausted.

P.S. This, I have to say, is a typical day around here. It’s busy. It’s weird. It’s full of fresh air and sun kissed children who are ready to sleep at the end of the day. It’s chaotic and peaceful all within the same hour, crazy and wonderful. And I love it!

And , honestly, I can’t wait to try those ducks eggs…

July 31, 2014 - 12:07 am

Isela Taylor What a unique and lovely story. The ducks are beautiful. Gigi could you please share the title/singer/group of the CD you are listing in the car? And any christian CD kids stories to listen in the car? My little one doesn’t like much books and I am trying to help him to like them. Any suggestion greatly appreciated.

July 30, 2014 - 5:20 am

Maike This is such a funny exciting day story. I couldn’t stop reading and smiling. What are you gonna do about the flying ducks now so that they wont fly away a second time? And you look absolutely beautyful no matter how exhausted or in which situation you are in. I really admire you for that and your country life. ^_^

July 30, 2014 - 1:23 am

Teresa Totally agree–it’s wonderful not ever having to worry about being bored! Love your smile and the story about getting your ducks–wish I could have seen the duck chase! 🙂

July 29, 2014 - 11:03 pm

Renee LOVE this post and your smile with the chickens….you look like you were having a good laugh at it all! these are the wonderful times we can all talk and laugh about when we are old and the children are grown, the crazy adventures……so glad you found the duck horder and had a great day!

July 29, 2014 - 9:24 pm

Kristina You are just crazy, and I absolutely love it! 🙂