About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

Like Water off a Duck's Back

My all-time favorite trade book title (inspired by a quote from my all-time favorite politician) is an insouciant metaphor for resilience. Time and again the poultry on my farm show it.

Awhile back I wrote about one industrious chicken who hatched out a sizable clutch of eggs. She has since turned up missing. Perhaps she's off somewhere incubating another clutch; much of what free-range chickens do is out of the view of humans. Or, what we fear actually happened, she was eaten by a predator--a raccoon or a fox, the latter of which has been spotted in the area. In any event, her clutch of eleven chicks is without a mother.

One of our ducks had been off somewhere sitting on a nest. One day she came back alone and acting agitated, increasing the likelihood of a nest-robbing varmint. She took to trundling aimlessly around the yard. She'd find a chicken egg and roll it back and forth with her bill, a sign of broodiness, or wanting to nest again.

When ducklingless mother and motherless chicks crossed paths, it didn't take long for the duck to take them under her wing. We call this nanny-in-disguise Mrs. Duckfire.

She leads her adopted brood around the yard by day and shares their shelter at night. Somehow they understand her quacks and she understands their cheeps. She stays up a little later than they'd like because she has to get her swim in. One day an adult rooster acted aggressively to one of the chicks, and Mrs. Duckfire drove him off with a great display of quacking and wing flapping.

When life throws you a curve, resilience allows you to punt, even when you have webbed feet. Chickens can dance backwards in high heels, too. I'll tell you about them soon.


  1. When I'm faced with criticism of others or am in a stressful situation, I say: "Be A Duck". It is a great and fun way for me to let it roll off, just like you said!


  2. That's great advice, Lynette. When it's a rainy day and I'm grousing about the crummy weather, I notice how happy the ducks are and it changes my whole outlook. Thanks for reading! Susan


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