Duck-fight at the OK Corral…

spring walk kite 059The road that runs through the Home Farm of Waddesdon Manor can be a bit of a pain. It bisects the fields, after half a mile or so and when you are out for a walk with the small dog, it means attempting to catch her to make her safe, or leaving her on the leash until it has been crossed. Being spring and with so much young wildlife around here, I left her attached today.In some ways this turned out to be a good thing. In others…

spring walk kite 061Now leaving her attached is all very well, but the five metre leash takes some managing as she dives and wheels and ties your legs in knots for the slightest thing. To Ani, the world is brand new every time she sees it. A bee can be a major game of chase.…she is full of joy, wonder and things that simply have to be investigated right now!

spring walk kite 019Thus it was that she dragged me down the bank of the pond so she could launch herself into the water. This being the same dog whose antics, if you mention a bath, would win her an Oscar for tragic acting.



Now this is all very well through winter, and even acceptable in early spring, but the nettle beds are getting high and I can foresee trouble ahead. I may have to wear boots and thick leggings all summer. In fact, fishing waders might be in order… The joyful beast splashed around for a while; I, dangling on the end of the forgotten leash, balanced precariously on the end of the tiny, rotting jetty. She was having fun, but before long decided it was time to move on.

spring walk kite 054We didn’t get far, of course; the pond goes under the road and she just has to investigate the other side too. A sudden flurry of water as we approached and a family of tiny ducklings swam out from under the bridge. The small dog’s stance changed. She shot me one look, which probably translated as ‘WTF?’. Then launched herself right into the middle of the pool.

spring walk kite 034As she did so, the ducklings lost themselves in the reeds, but Mum, ever watchful, dived out from beneath the bridge, shot past Ani like a champagne cork and proceeded to defend her babies. Very defensive, ducks, you know. Part of me was fascinated… this little duck was cleverly kicking up the water with wings and feet, dashing across the surface of the pond to disguise all trace of her ducklings’ passage while distracting the potential predator. It really was amazing to watch.

spring walk kite 041The ‘predator’ seemed rather taken aback and could be heard to emit small, confused whines. She has a real love of tiny creatures… babies of all species bring out her maternal side. She is one of the few dogs I would dearly love to see with a litter of pups were there not so many unwanted dogs in the world.

spring walk kite 039Clearly she should be chasing this thing though. You could tell she was aware of that. But you got the distinct impression that here was a creature who only wanted to play, while the object of its attention was very serious indeed about repelling boarders. It was a fascinating glimpse into another world.

spring walk kite 042Meanwhile, the other part of me was clinging to the leash grimly and digging her heels into the soft mud of the bank. Ani had launched herself into the pond without giving either her trajectory, the length of the leash or the two-legs dangling on the other end the slightest bit of thought. It wasn’t too bad while she was poised and confused. It was when she decided to give chase that we had a problem.

The duck was fine.

Did I mention I needed waders? Let us add a wetsuit to that equation…

spring walk kite 063

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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17 Responses to Duck-fight at the OK Corral…

  1. I used to have a frog hunting Norwich Terrier. Swamps were her favorite places. It is hard to describe the hideous results. But perhaps you already know. I’m laughing, but I’ve been there. You have to trap them in the bathroom …


  2. I do love these tales of you and Ani, Sue – makes me so envious, all these adventures. Our Cavalier King Charles, at almost thirteen, sits down if she thinks she has to go out of the garden and nothing moves her. i even carry her up and downstairs these days..


  3. Éilis Niamh says:

    Oh no! Have you tried a tractable flexy leash? Won’t solve every difficulty… but maybe the last one. Not the kind of bath you want to have. 🙂


  4. I was going to mention the retractable leash also…not for everyone I guess 🙂 Wellies and a wetsuit it is then. Do be sure to take a selfie won’t you 😉


  5. noelleg44 says:

    We had the same problem with our dog Rock (currently chasing large and small creatures in heaven) – she took off after a deer one night, pulled me off our deck and the result for me was a torn ACL. She looked penitent afterward.


  6. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, dear, did you really get pulled into the drink? Ducks really are good at distracting from their babies. I can’t believe you were managing the camera at the same time! We love our dogs, but then there are times…. 😉


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