So the run door was opened & Chalk & Cheese were allowed the freedom of the back garden. I felt a little bit like I did when I took my boys to nursery school for the first time, as I looked anxiously on to see what they would make of this big new world. There were so many new things for them to explore. They were clearly very excited, cheeping constantly to one another & shaking their tail feathers like exuberant little puppies.
They busily trotted around the garden, bravely testing out every new thing they came across like intrepid explorers. Until they came across THE ALIEN MONSTER FROM ANOTHER PLANET.....
What's this strange creature mum?
At first, although it looked very weird & was completely devoid of feathers it appeared that it meant the ducklings no harm & their curiosity was about to get the better of them, then....
Help mum! It's chasing us!
... the monster charged towards them, clearly intending them to be it's next meal or some such perilous thing! It really was funny to watch! The poor ducklings ran as fast as they could back to me to take refuge from the monster. (Of course, I am happy to say that after a few more close encounters the ducklings & the tortoise now happily co-exist in the garden!)
After the danger had passed it was time to resume the exploration of the garden, including waddling across mum's raised bed & trampling her baby leek plants & beetroot. However, it was impossible to get the slightest bit cross as it was such a joy watching the pair of them enjoying themselves so much. I think ducks always look as though they are smiling & are one of Nature's happiest creatures, but that day the ducklings were positively grinning.
Feeling confident in their ability to take care of themselves & not get into too much trouble I have been able to let the ducklings out into the garden every day now, firstly supervised on every occasion, then watched from the kitchen window & now just checked regularly. They have a ramp up into their hutch so that they can get inside if it suddenly rains or if they are spooked by anything & they very dutifully climb up it into bed every evening at about 8pm, which is a bit of a relief because their claws are quite long now!
It's time to end this blog here, as I have to ferry middle son to school for his next GCSE exam, but later I will let you know how Chalk & Cheese got on with their first swimming lesson.