Accidental Ducks

Yesterday morning, one of the daycare facilities of our kibbutz paid a surprise visit to the pet zoo. This is nothing out of the ordinary and usually a fun occasion. This time though, they took the element of “surprise” a little too far. They arrived cheerfully bearing a small carton box containing two even tinier ducklings. It turned out that the father of one of the children thought it would be a good idea to bring two ducklings to the daycare, without telling them. As a result, the teacher thought it would be a good idea to bring them to me – without telling me.

13697083_618641374969553_4298345568493988677_nWell, of course I took the ducklings. How could I not, with fifteen three-year olds looking at me expectantly? But no, I was not particularly pleased. Not because the ducklings weren’t cute – of course they were – but because no one had thought of letting anyone know that two ducklings were on their way to me via the daycare.

Once again, I have to ask myself desperately what some people are thinking..?? Did the father really not think before he brought them of inquiring whether the daycare was equipped to take care of two baby ducklings..? (No, of course they are not). And why, why on earth did the teacher not tell the father politely but firmly to take the ducklings back to where they came from? Why did she accept them, then bring them to me without even phoning me first..?

Well. I didn’t really get an answer to these questions, even though I did ask them (not particularly patiently, I confess). The general idea was “we thought it would be nice for the children”. No one was concerned as to whether it would be nice for the ducklings, or for me. Here I am, trying to teach kids to be respectful of animals, only to have parents and teachers showing them the exact opposite.

(Just a side note: this was someone from outside the kibbutz. Most people I know are lovely and very respectful of animals and of me. Just sometimes, you get someone who breaks all the rules and really gets my goat!)

Anyway, I improvised a little swimming pool in the chick cage and showed the kids how the ducks need a heat lamp and special food (not bread, as they had given them before). Delight ensued when the babies started splashing in the dish. I realised I can turn this into a learning experience! Lesson titled “What do ducklings need, and how fast they grow” (very fast). Just so these kids grow up knowing that it’s not a good idea to land ducklings on unsuspecting daycarers. Even if there is a convenient pet zoo nearby.


Drying off under the heat lamp after a refreshing swim.


Peachick photobomb.


About tarnegolita

Dutch expatriate, mother of 3 boys, freelance translator and pet zoo keeper in a kibbutz in Israel.
This entry was posted in Animals, Ducks and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Accidental Ducks

  1. debc says:

    At least you could make a lesson out of it. There is a silver lining in that!

    I fully believe that some people just do not think or possibly do not care. Growing up on the farm, we often had people random drop off unwanted kittens or puppies in the weeds off to the side of the near our barn. The thought – I am assuming – is that these tiny helpless babies would safely find their way to the barn and we would adopt them on sight. We did get a couple of good momma cats and their kittens that way over the years, but what usually happens is the helpless, clueless babies get smacked in the road or starve to death long before they manage to toddle out of the bushes and find the barn.

    That’s just the way it is. People don’t realize. They don’t think about it.

    How difficult would it be to take them to an animal shelter, or put up a sign at the vet’s office (Free Kitten!!! With a cute picture)? In today’s world, you can advertise unwanted pets on Facebook, even. But no, they drop the poor things off at the nearest farm and don’t even bother to knock on the door to ask “hey, do you have room for these animals?”

    Not sure what your daycare father was thinking, but I’m glad the teacher at least recognized that you would take them in, unhappy or not. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • tarnegolita says:

      Oh yes, this happens here too, all the time! People just assume we are happy to take all their unwanted animals. Thereby shifting the problem on to us. Almost all dogs and cats in our kibbutz are rescues. Makes me so angry!! But it seems like I am, and other people are, talking to the wall… Some people just don’t think animals count or have feelings. I don’t know if these ducklings were hatched in an incubator or were taken away from the mother. I just prefer to believe they are incubator babies….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Argh. How many times do we have to say it; animals — especially baby animals — are not toys, not accessories, not decoration, not temporary! Glad they’re safe and being cared for properly by you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tarnegolita says:

      Yes I was so annoyed… But will take care of them of course! I start feeling a bit hopeless sometimes… Many people here seem to think I have ridiculously high standards. Just had to endure another lecture from my father in law about how I’m spending way too much money on the animals and I should be feeding them bread… It gets me down, even while I ignore him! Sigh!


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