Day 6-7 (Saturday & Sunday, June 23rd - 24th, 2012): Duck Sitting Ghalita

Toward the end of Ghala's first week, I could see she was becoming more comfortable, particularly since receiving two calls per day from Adry. Soon she was exploring the garden on her own.
     Ghala loves it when I sit outside with her. Our routine, for most days, is wake up, she bathes, then perches on the edge of the tub and dries off (while I do her laundry--duck diapers and towels). If it's raining we stay inside, if not, we go outside and she stands on the deck or near me as I read manuscripts or work in the garden. Sometimes Ghala keeps company with my khaki girl Chai, who is one of the only ducks I can allow in the garden, so I call her my garden duck. Chai forages for several hours per day in the garden without disturbing the plants.
Ghala stands on the deck as it starts to sprinkle rain.
     I've never duck sat a muscovy before, though I have a muscovy duck hen, Jing-Jai, who stays outside with her mate, Sao-Ree. In the beginning, we thought Sao-Ree was a girl, so we called him Sallee. Ghala makes sweet twittering sounds and tugs on my skirt when she wants attention. She likes to be talked to a lot and has various sounds for different situations. Whenever she hears something out of the ordinary she makes a sweet, high-pitched, yet quiet "what" sound. When Adry calls Ghala nibbles on the phone and makes purring sounds while gobbling the air as if she's singing an Italian opera.
Ghala perches on the picnic table bench as I read.

     One thing that surprises me is that Ghala and my house duck, Louise, a buff Orpington, get along. They don't snuggle with each other, but they don't fight either. We can say they are amicable and keep the peace, respecting each other's boundaries, but occasionally stretching their necks out to warn the other that she's encroaching on the other one's space. At night Ghala sleeps in her cage with a butterfly scarf that says "Costa Rica" draped over the top. Louise likes to lie as close to Ghala's cage as she can, making her husky mallard-style sounds.
     Ghala is a smart one, too, as it didn't take her long to figure out the garden rules, such as where the path is located. She wandered around, through the carrots and over a few bricks and flower bed
barriers, but soon discovered the walking route, perhaps by seeing Chai use the paths.                    
Ghala and Louise during the weekend afternoon.
     Louise was tired enough by the end of Saturday that she could hang around in the garden, too. Usually she stays in the duck yard with the rest of the flock, though she is an outsider and receives attention from my Cayuga drake Augie, and that's about it. But on Saturday Louise was tired from a long day and settled in to preen and then take a name. For a while I could watch Ghala and Louise perform a kind of synchronized grooming, seeming to derive comfort from each other's presence. Spending time with the ducks makes my afternoon that much more special. It's relaxing and there's never a dull moment. I can look out over the garden and see them doing their various activities: Ming flirting with the geese, Augie strutting like David Hasselhoff, Iliya taking his girl Bella on a date, Sofiya looking for food, Ooma eyeing me suspiciously, Lucy telling Ming off, and so on.
A curious Lucy Goo has circumnavigated the yard and is peeking through the duck house screen into the garden.
Ghala discovers the koi pond.     
Ghala spots a neighborhood "mouser" cat prowling the fence.

Ghala enjoys tickling people. Hahaha.
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