The ducks continued to develop. I could still pick them up. Although they tried not to be caught, once captured they readily settled down and would bury their beaks into my hand. They mostly slept in the yard as their hunger for worms and lettuce wane. As August approached sometimes they would fly a few yards.
Goings and Comings
In the beginning of August I went to a chemistry teachers conference in Virginia. The ducks got to hang out most of the day with no humans around. Mary would wonder each day if they would be there when she returned from work. In the evening they would start to fly off. Mary found one down at the corner. Another was found at a street that runs perpendicular to ours. The evening duck retrieval provided great entertainment for several neighbors (and great consternation to one dachshund!). The evening of Wednesday, August 5, one flew off and this time, could not be found. The next evening, just an hour or so before I returned from my trip, another flew off.
When I got home there was only Dorothy remaining. After relaxing a bit, I hopped on a bike and began tooling around the neighborhood. Maybe I might cross paths with a duck or two. Across from the end of our block there was a group of a few adults and children off to the side of their yard. I turned around to get a closer look to see what the people were standing around. In an inverted garbage can cover sunk into the ground swam Dennis. I introduced myself and explained about our summer of ducks. They said they were surprised how tame this duck was. I attempted to herd the duck back home, but it was difficult. I cornered him along a wall and grabbed him. I brought him back across the street so the kids could pet him. We crated the ducks early that evening.
At some point in time, this duck which we referred to as “Not Dorothy” got a name. Emily named him/her Dennis.