I've always enjoyed a good runner duck. I've had various runners over the years but never managed, somehow, to get hold of my favourite colourway, the black runner duck.
These are the ducks that shepherds use at country shows to demonstrate the skill of their best dogs whilst keeping the punters chortling. They (the ducks, not the shepherds) stand very upright and have amusement written into their genes. They are also mighty fine egg layers.
They are very different in physical type from my chunky Aylesburys, and the contrast is part of the appeal. I'd finally decided a couple of months ago to start a small flock of black runners as soon as decent fox-proof pens could be made. Following two unwelcome visits, as a temporary measure the Aylesburys have been protected by three types of electric fencing, but if I give myself another jolt I'll probably lose the ability to string a sentence together, so told myself I'd just have to wait, and my runner duck dreams were put on short-term hold.
And then, you know how it is, you browse the postcards pinned up on the noticeboard at the feed merchants, and there it was, a free to good home notice from someone understandably fed up with a randy drake molesting her small defenceless call ducks.
His name is Beany, and now he's mine. And before you worry, he's safe. At night he goes into a duck hut, and by day he shares the front garden with Hard-Hattie until the pens are made and I can get him some girls of his own.