I was reading blogs this morning, trying to catch up. (stop laughing)
(c'mon... okay, you're right. pause to laugh a little bit hysterically at the idea that I might ever catch up on the blog list)
As I was saying... I was reading blogs, and came upon this post from JoyKnits (only a few days late), in which she was recounting her visit to Soulard Market in St. Louis.
I have great memories of Soulard.
Among my favorites -- taking a friend and my step-sister, and finding baby ducks (I thought they might have been Muscovy Ducks, but ours were all white).
In the age when three 10 year olds wandering Soulard alone wasn't scary, my parents set us loose to wander around while they went to fetch food (fresh veggies, fruit, meat from the butchers, etc). We found baby ducks, and when my parents found us, we were sitting on a bench, each of us with duckling in hand, petting and grinning.
The ducks came home with us.
They grew up -- one was male, VERY defensive of his gals.
One died in the winter of sheer dumbness. I'm serious. The silly thing sat on the frozen snow until it all melted underneath her warm body; then she stood up, until it froze over again, and tried to walk out. Dumb. We moved the ducks into the basement after that, but she never did quite recover.
Her fellow duck, however, fared fabulously, and that spring we saw five ducklings. The were around for a few days, and then disappeared without a trace.
They were followed by fifteen ducklings. Fifteen.
Papa duck became even more defensive of his brood. I still remember the bruise on Dad's calf from a time he got too close when feeding them. Ducks, as you may or may not know, reach out with their misleadingly non-sharp non-pointy beaks, grab a bit of skin, then twist and use their wings to flap backwards. It HURTS!
So... 17 ducks in the yard.
Consider -- we lived in town. Right in University City. This city, you may note if you check the map, is surrounded by other cities. It's no where near the "country". And though we had a nice yard, it wasn't huge. We were not in an area where raising foul in the back yard was an approved activity.
Eventually, someone called the city on us, and we had to get rid of the ducks. When Dad went to move them (he released the adults into Forest Park on one of the ponds there), he found another 23 eggs in the nest. egads! Silly us. We should have been collecting and eating those eggs! Wonder why we never thought of it.
Another trip brought rabbits. BIG rabbits. I'd no idea rabbits came that big. But for reasons I never did get, my Dad brought home three rabbits one day. Built them a lovely hutch that nestled in under the back porch. The largest of them, he named Fat Albert (after the character in Bill Cosby's routines -- this was before the cartoon came out, we'd only listened to stories about Fat Albert).
Alas, the dogs got to the rabbits. One at a time...
But I still remember how magnificent those rabbits were
So.. thanks Joy! I enjoyed that little trip down memory lane.