At the time I was sick, I began wondering about the wisdom of buying Cheepie the duckling and bringing it home. I was asleep through the whole day, but I got up to make Cheepie it's meals.
And for its part, it really doesn't care for much so long as it can see me. So there it was by my bedside, in its tub, content and making cheepie noises.
But Cheepie is growing big by the day, and I really questioned if I could cope with it? Cheepie needed constant care because it's not like other poultry animals.
It's house trained and used to a lifestyle now. And Cheepie pooped a looot and drank water a looot and pooped again.
It's necessary to keep an extra clean home when you have pets to ensure their health and your health too. All this seemed to consume so much time and energy. Energy that I didn't have.
I also felt that Cheepie should be in a farm with other Cheepie animals.
With all this in mind, I checked up farms near and far. All the duck farms sold duck meat and were out as options. No duck meat farms for Cheepie. Finally, I zeroed on a unique farm...
Georgge's Farm that sold rabbits and had poultry as pets. I also found a lovely duck farm in far far away Tirunelveli, where they kept ducks for the love of ducks.
Anyways, I called up Mr. Georgge and he kindly agreed to keep Cheepie in his backyard with all the other poultry animals he had. I had a problem. Cheepie was so small.
There were roosters and hen and turkey there. But Mr. Georgge said he'd take good care of Cheepie.
With all that in mind, I put Cheepie in a basket and went in an auto to Mr. Georgge's farm.
The drive was a long one and Cheepie was simply delighted to be out and watching all that went on in the roadside - the traffic, the trees, the people...Cheepie enjoyed that.
But I began to have qualms. I'm not sure what went wrong with me but I could not stop crying! It was like some unseen tap had turned on. I got worse with every mile covered.
And finally, when I reached Mr. Georgge's house, I simply broke down and burst into tears.
But I left Cheepie there and came home. Nothing felt right. I still could not stop crying. I felt like a betrayer and I wasn't good at betraying. That's Judas's job, not mine. Seriously.
I'm not sure what worried me. Was I missing the physical presence of a tiny little duckling? Was it guilt? You don't turn your family members out because they poop and smell. You learn to cope.
And I started reading a looot of literature about ducks, especially their memory. And horror of horrors, ducks don't forget the person they imprint on. That was me.
If I went to the farm two years later, Cheepie would remember and come running. That's what the literature said.
I also learnt that the smell was a combination of less oxygen plus poop plus water. So, the more airy the place, the more dry and clean, the less the chances of there it being smelly.
I'm againt using too many chemical around the house, so although I found I could order stuff to make the smell go away, that's not an option.
I am also against diapers on ducks for long time. It's not healthy for them.
I wondered if I could bring Cheepie back? I needed a big cage. Cheepie cannot eat in a tub any more. She's still a duckling but a bigger one now.
I go by my heart and my heart was telling me that I'd made a mistake. I needed to see my duckling again. With that in mind, I called up Mr. Georgge. He's been very patient with me, I'd say.
You can't trouble a busy farmer with the issues of a tiny duckling just because it's eating up your mind. He kindly agreed to give Cheepie back to me.
And just like that, my mind stabilized and I stopped crying. Magic!
My son, drove me to Mr. Georgge's house and he put Cheepie back in the basket. Cheepie cheeped away and gave me all the cheepie news. It also pooped in Tenny's car backseat, much to his horror.
And, as a lovely bonus, I got to spend a lovely day with my son. We had breakfast at a hotel, then went out to buy Cheepie a big cage. We got the biggest one we could find.
It has mesh on the floor and two trays below, so all the food and poop and water would fall into the trays.
Put some newspaper on the trays, and all I'd have to do is remove the newspapers and put in some new ones daily. We then had ice cream, and then, he dropped me home, cage, Cheepie and all.
That was yesterday. Today, Cheepie is delighted with the cage. I let it out twice a day, and I will be taking it out regularly for walks.
The cage has cut my job of taking care of Cheepie by three-fourth, I think. No scrubbing and cleaning and sanitizing through the day.
How I knew Cheepie was happy to be back? Ducks are routine animals and Cheepie is a spoilt brat. It knows when it's time to have an egg or a fish delicacy.
It will not eat anything at that time. And that's what it did.
Cheepie in its cage murmuring and singing "Old McDonald" (Cheepie really sings that song) and watching a very young Will Smith in 'Fresh Prince from Bel - Air' with me and listening
to Neil Diamond shouting "I am! I said! I am I cried!"
Not sure about the world but Cheepie and I are peace.