Michael D Karos Jr John H Kirk Janet R Meyer Patsy A Clark Dorothy J Schroeder Broncos trample the G-Men, 73-40 Rockets down the Devils, 59-55 Seven new inductees to enter WBHS Sports Hall of Fame Lady Warriors ascend to 13-1 Broncos finish 2nd of 22 teams in Hammer and Anvil Invitational Hedwig Lambert Billie G Walkup Some county offices may be moved G’town Council approves 2017 budget Family doubles in size with adoption Sardinia Mayor looks forward to 2017 2017 Fayetteville Firemen’s Festival set Floyd Newberry Jr Donna F Lang Gene Warren Dwight L Fulton Virginia A O’Neil Anne L Durbin-Thomas Marietta Dunn Charles L Latchford Broncos win ‘Battle of 32’ Lady Broncos claim win over Bethel-Tate Jays top Warriors, fall to Mustangs Lady Warriors claim top spot in SHAC with win over Lynchburg-Clay Broncos buck the Lions, 54-51 James N DeHaas Questions still linger in Stuart explosion New direction for Brittany Stykes case New public safety director now on duty in Brown Co. Fayetteville Mayor anticipates a good year for the village Chamber of Commerce announces awardees Robert Bechdolt Carl E Lindsey Audrey F Maher LeJeune Howser Tammy L Connor Henry C Mayhall Jr Chad Spilker Frank W Kemmeter Jr Wanda J Howard Dorothy Huff Colon C Malott Eastern varsity teams come out on top to capture Brown County Holiday Classic crowns WBHS Army JROTC hosts rifle shooting competition Bronco varsity wrestling team unbeaten at 8-0 Blue Jays finish 1-1 in Ripley Pepsi Classic Mona G Van Vooren Hiram Beardsworth Avery W McCleese Ethel E Long Children learn safety from ‘Officer Phil’ Microchips can help locate lost pets Local GOP plans trip to Washington Three sentenced in common pleas Estel Earhart Roy Stewart Tenacious ‘D’ leads Lady Jays to victory over Blanchester on day one of Ripley Pepsi Classic Fayetteville’s Thompson, Jester earn SWOFCA All-City honors Jays fall to Blanchester on first day of Pepsi Classic Ticket details announced for OHSAA basketball and wrestling state tournaments Jerri K McKenzie Randy D Vaughn Georgetown JR/SR high to have new library Georgetown saw many improvements in 2016 Three sentenced in common pleas court Esther O Brown G-Men go on scoring rampage for 77-41 win over Cardinals Warriors climb to 4-2 with wins over West Union, Lynchburg Rockets top Whiteoak for first win Shirley M Bray Carter Lumber closes in G’town Wenstrup looks forward to 2017 Seven indicted by county grand jury John Ruthven holds pre-Christmas Open House New pet boarding facility now open in Georgetown Denver W Emmons Carl W Liebig Mary L McKinley Blake C Roush Louis A Koewler William D Cornetet Western Brown dedicates Perry Ogden Court Lady Warrior win streak hits 5 Lady Rockets wrap up tough week on the hardwood Barons rally for win over Broncos Georgetown to hire two paid Firefighter/EMT’s Noble receives statewide law enforcement award County helps family in need after house fire Flashing signs banned in G’town historic district ‘Christmas Extravaganza’ at Gaslight Thelma L Ernst Roy L Bruce Ken Leimberger Cathye J Bunthoff Lending a holiday helping hand

Herding ducks – the real story

I thought it best to keep the ducks secure in their enclosure, for a while. I wanted them to understand that this was their new home before I let them out to free range, but after three days I noticed that they seemed quite relaxed. I would sit by their gazebo and toss in scratch grains and they would happily waddle out of their house and scoop up the grains in their wide duck bills. So I decided that yes, it was time to open their front gate and let them out to explore our creek valley world.

Well, no sooner did I open the gate than they made a fast duck waddle past the goat yard, down to the end of the bee hives, across the orchard, and straight for the far end of the upper field. They did not pause once, the two slightly smaller ducks following in a straight line behind the larger, crested headed duck. It looked to me as though they thought that they were making their get-away to return over three miles up the road, through creek coyote country, to the neighbors who had given them to us.

Thankfully I had thought to put the dogs in their pens before I let them out, so when I headed out across the orchard in hot duck pursuit, the dogs did not chase them farther away. I circled down to the lower end of the field to head the escapees off, and marched straight towards them, arms out stretched, cooing “Good duck, duck. Good duck, duck. Let’s head back home now. Let’s head back home.”

The lead duck saw me and came to an abrupt halt. He waggled his tail in what I have learned is perfect duck fashion, made a quick about face, and headed back up through the orchard, past the bee hives and the goat yard, to the gazebo enclosure. His two slightly smaller companions followed dutifully in a line behind him. As I herded them, still gently cooing for them to return home, it occurred to me that the phrase “Keep your ducks in a row” made perfect sense. Here I was, guiding my little line of ducks back home.

I sighed as I closed the gate safely behind them and tossed some scratch grains inside. I sat down on the ground beside them as they ate, still cooing that they were good ducks to have returned home.

So I waited a few more days before I let them out again. This time I stayed close by their side and we made a purposeful single file march around the upper field. They were amazingly easy to steer. I simply veered slightly to the left and they would head to the right. When I veered to the right, they would head left, and at the end of our walk, of course I rewarded them with scratch grain as I sat on the ground beside them. I smiled as I realized that I had kept my ducks in a perfect row!

We made a few such excursions over the next several days. I noticed that they were no longer heading off in such haste, and were beginning to pause and nibble at the ground here and there. The slightly bigger, crested headed duck was always in the lead.

And then today I opened their gate and simply stood back. Rather than dash out they seemed to leisurely step out into our creek valley world. They circled the windmill tower and paused by the pigeons, nibbling at what goodies the pigeons had thrown from their coop. They even went right up to the wire, as if to say “look at us out here,” and then they headed up, still in single file, to rabbit row.

Ahh, there were good things to explore and eat under rabbit row, and they stayed there for quite a while, but when a rabbit jumped inside her cage, they dashed back out into the field, the crested headed duck once again leading the way.

My ducks had done well. I cooed that it was time to return home and gently corralled them back into their duck enclosure and scattered their scratch grains. We shall get the hang of this, my ducks and I. Someday I imagine that they will free range all day and have a solar powered door to close them safely inside at dusk, but for now I am enjoying my duck walks. I wouldn’t say that it is anything like a cake walk, but it is still quite enjoyable indeed.

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2016 News Democrat