Wild Duck Called Gretchen Came and Stayed 22 Years
In 1959 a lady call wanting her lawn mowed and while there we found a hen mallard that had been torn up by some animal. She was near deaths door. I took her home and got my fishing line and needle and cleaned and stitched the many wounds up. She seemed to know I wanted to help and didn't struggle at all(shock comes to mind now). She was very weak. Put her on a heat pad and next morning she was standing and very hungry. Feed her some scratch feed and bits and pieces of what ever I was eating-she loved it. I don't know how old she was-but know she was a fully grown hen because she left an egg in her box the third day there. Time went by and the stitches came out she was all healed and grew new feathers where they were pulled out. She followed me every where, it was funny to watch her walk up and down the lawn as I pushed the mower. She didn't like being out of site of me. As summer ended-school started Gretchen would fly beside or behind the bus all the way to school. She tried to follow me inside but you all know how that ended that first day. Everybody was talking about the duck that wanted to go to school. Next day the same happened but this time Mrs Beadle (science teacher) was coming in and took Gretchen to her classroom for the day. After that Gretchen had to be put in a pen while I was in school-I didn't like that. It seemed wrong to pen a wild animal up. I was 8 years old then. As the years went by Gretchen stayed around and would always come flying when I called. She loved setting on anything-once she was missing for 3 days and when I found her she had driven a peacock off it's nest and finished hatching 11 little pea chicks. It was weird to see them follow her around when they we 12 weeks old-5X her size. There were many years that past and in May of 1981 Gretchen died. I had lost my best friend-couldn't eat for days. Often think of her and funny things she would do. Am grateful for the 22 years with her in my life. Would love to hear about your best friends.