We’ve been watching Irene for awhile. She has a zigzag on her chest that makes her look like a superhero and she stands much taller and bigger than the other ducks. Some women are built that way. I wasn’t judging. They follow her everywhere. She enjoys a good swim in their child sized swimming pool as well as leisurely walks about the farm with her friends in tow.
Yesterday, Sylvia, who has a profound permanent limp (if she turns out to be a boy I shall call her Tiny Tim) decided to envelop herself in the thicket of lilacs and have a bit of a nap. Head tucked backwards into her feathers she slept peacefully beneath the leafy arc. Irene was beside herself. All three ducks quacking and looking for their friend. They went under the porch, then came back out. They called far and away and close by. Beneath the table, in the pool, in the coop, around the tree they paraded and called. Finally, sleepy Sylvia awoke and ran out of the lilacs to meet her friends who quickly ran towards her, all of them quacking at once.
That was when I noticed it. Irene has a real raspy voice, like an old time jazz singer that has been smoking too long. And the tell tail sign (literally) was the curly tail. At just about four months, we did not see it before this week. Suddenly her sweet feminine tail feathers curled into a tight ringlet. Irene is a boy.
I do hope that Irene, I mean Ira, will behave himself with the females. I would rather him make sweet little ducklings than Duck a L’Orange!