7 Jun

You know how parents behave when the child who has wandered off returns?

The relief of discovering that Little Johnny is OK and has come to no harm is juxtaposed with anger and frustration towards the child for putting the parent through the stress and anxiety. “Don’t you EVER do that again!”, the parent yells, whilst simultaneously squeezing the breath from the errant mite with a hug to reassure both.

Well, it seems that this kind of parenting also happens in the duck world.

There is a family of ducks – mum, dad & 3 offspring – living in Ormos Kamari on Chios. Their ducky antics were the source of entertainment for yachties and locals alike. One morning, as I sat in the cockpit, both parents and one sprog went by at speed and proceeded round the perimeter of the bay, paddling at a rate of knots in and out of the rocks. There was no sign of the other two youngsters.

Suddenly a frantic quacking came from the other side of the bay. From an olive grove just back from the water’s edge came the two missing ducks, waddling as fast as they could and calling loudly to the rest of the family. The search party did a handbrake turn and, paddling like fury, they headed across for the joyful reunion. The theme from ‘Chariots of Fire’ was playing in my head. Aaah!

And then it all came to a screeching halt. Instead of fondly embracing the poor duck-o-lescents and welcoming them back into the flock, Daddy Duck (or was it Mummy?) launched into an abusive tirade and jumped on the back of one of them, held it under the water until it eventually fought it’s way to the surface spluttering and quacking remorse.

The youngsters having been shown the error of their ways, Ducks Reunited headed off for breakfast with only a few ruffled feathers.

It’s never easy being a parent, is it?!


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