Thursday, 9 December 2010

Hard times and dead ducks…

Yesterday we heard, via text from our farmer friend Geronwy, that the ducks we keep in Wales had been stolen during the night. They were locked in Geronwy’s barn, but even so somebody got in and took them.

They were not quite pets, but we had decided not to cook and eat them, they were females and laid at least a dozen beautiful eggs a week. Our cakes, cheese flans, omelettes, and tarts had never tasted so good. Their brother, Huey (the bigger white one), wasn’t so lucky – we ate him many months ago. Well, he was a boy and boys don’t lay eggs. He made an excellent Sunday lunch though. Now I suspect that his sisters, Louise and Douise, are doomed to go the same way. Eaten by the thieves who stole them or by whoever they sold them on to.

I like to think that they have gone to a family that needs them. This I would not mind too much. I can understand stealing to feed your family. I can even understand stealing to give your kids some toys at Christmas. So if this is the case take our ducks with my blessing – but next time ask me please, and if you need a good recipe I have just the thing.

If on the other hand they’ve gone to thieving scumbags who just want money for booze, fags, drugs, or a university education – well you have a problem. The Ju-Ju is ever watchful and will wreak my vengeance. He is not a forgiving Peanut and He will take my revenge.

What a world, eh? How has it come to this, where ducks aren’t safe locked in their barns? The countryside is meant to be safe and country people as honest as the day is long. I’ve certainly found it to be so up until now.

Perhaps that’s it – these short winter days, or maybe it’s simply these hard times we live in.

These ‘pay for everything’ hard times where education is only for those that can afford it, those who have no need to worry about the cost or the end - our hopeful youth massively in debt even before they start.

These greed-driven hard times where we make our country jobless, over and over, expecting all to rise above, adapt, to behave like hearts of oak, keeping that good old Dunkirk spirit flowing whilst offering no real hope.

These impersonal hard times where if we want to find a job, get paid, bank, buy at the best price, or even find out our child’s exam results we must use the internet. Face to face contact is fast disappearing, even voice to voice is no longer the norm.

These ‘Big Brother’ hard times where good people, strong and trusted, are forced to lie, stand down belief, compromise and give up – or face the consequences.

And these hard times where two ducks, safe in their barn are taken and butchered for all the reasons detailed above and all the others that aren’t.

Two ducks waddling in the farmyard – quack, quack, quack.

Two ducks killed by these hard times.

Short winter days? I hope it may be so.


  1. go go ju ju.. and wreak havok on the buggers...

  2. As Madness wisely said in 'It's Raining Again'...
    I'm as honest as the day is long
    The longer the daylight the less I do wrong

    Hopefully they have gone to the needy otherwise I tend to comfort myself to think in terms day the ducks will come home to roost.

  3. Thinking positively, maybe the thieves only want them for their eggs also, so they could still be alive and happy quacking somewhere.

  4. Alan Spence e-mailed:

    Love the photo of the nasty Nip and Tuck Dorm brothers. Like the sentiment.
    Tough on the Ducks, but hey! I shoot them.