Don't Name the Ducks and Other Truths About Life in the CountryBook - 2003
Don't name ducks...
or any other critters you
intend to eat.
When Wendy Dudley and her mother Penny moved to the country they got plenty of good advice from well meaning friends and neighbours. But as her long-time mentor and friend, Robert Bateman, notes: Wendy is the kind of person who has to name her ducks, with predictable heartbreaks but also unforeseen joys.
Don't Name the Ducks and Other Truths About Life in the Country is Wendy's heartwarming journal about reconnecting with her mother through living close to the land. It is a story about following your heart to a home where old memories are lived and where new memories are made.
Dudley is a native Ontarian, whose heart is as big as the Albertan high country she now calls home. A journalist by trade, Wendy's storytelling is whimsical and wondrous, enchanting and enlightening. Don't Name the Ducks is a delightful diary of life in the high country, where it can snow in summer and where bears and cougars roam freely. It is also a hilarious account about living with the odd and unusual: There's Lucy, the red-headed mule, and Raven and Peso, the bellowing donkeys; there's Hud, the blind cat and Georgia, the shy pup that grows into a coy braveheart; and there's Maggie, the herding dog that runs from livestock. There are headless mice, flies in the soup and ugly ducklings. And always, like a river weaving across the plains, there is the spirit of the land, its strength both beautiful and daunting. One moment it massages; the next moment it tries to buck you off like some wild horse.
Dudley describes how this country shapes people, from capable ranch women to legendary range men. How it shapes her is both amusing and amazing. When she packs home a mule, horse and donkeys, she turns loose a paddock full of pleasure and trouble. There is the miracle of birth, the scrumptious aroma of freshly-cut hay and the joys of riding bareback; but there are also the horse wrecks, the frustrating mule moments and the donkey dramatics.
Don't Name the Ducks is a story that will appeal to everyone searching for that special homeplace, that place where you want to hang your hat at the end of the day, where the innocence of childhood is remembered and where tomorrow begins today.