This afternoon started out like any other as I made my way across the pasture to muck out the duck pond. The breeze was blowing lightly, and the sun sparkled on the surface of the water, or at least it would have if the surface wasn’t carpeted with an inch of green algae. As I drew closer, I was startled by a flash of brown sliding into the open door of the Duck Mansion. Sure enough, the mink peeked outside and stared at me. A hush fell over the pasture as two predators eyed each other; I could see fear creep into his eyes as he took in my Swamp People t-shirt, the jeans I had rolled up into redneck capris, and my designer red plaid Nordstrom’s muck boots. He knew one of us wasn’t leaving the pond alive, and my boots were made for walking. The silence was shattered by my battle cry of, “Gene, there’s a miiiiiiiiiiink!” and he disappeared under the gap between the pond liner and the ground. Remembering that Gene had already left for work, I ran for my gun with all the grace of a herd of elephants racing for the last peanut. The resulting noise ensured the mink stayed under the pond until I got back. I circled the pond, looking through the scope, and within moments his furry little head poked up and I took the shot, even though my backdrop was the pond liner. I figured the pond could take one for the team, and sure enough, I hit both the mink and the liner. Unfortunately the mink disappeared back underneath the pond, and as I began emptying it out bucket by bucket it jumped up and limped underneath some nearby brambles. I couldn’t find its body, but I’m confident it was a kill shot based on the pile of yuck it left underneath the pond liner. It’s the kind of yuck a mink needs to live, so I didn’t mind cleaning it up a bit.
Of course, killing one mink only means we get a bit of a reprieve from predation since our land used to be a mink farm back in the day. I’m glad we finished reinforcing all the various critter bedrooms, and now Cinnabun and her brood can frolic in peace in the remodeled Bunny Ranch. Gene also had to spend his Father’s Day weekend in the garage, quickly building an addition to what I now refer to as Broodopolis. Originally, Broodopolis was one big box with a removable divider, so the ducks were in one half and the turkeys and new chicks were in the other half. I went outside early Saturday morning to see Dimsworth picking up a chick by the foot and spinning it around in a circle, exactly like a big brother playing airplane with a child. Unfortunately, Dimsworth seemed to delight in letting go just as he had built up speed, sending the poor chick careening across the box. Gene added on another compartment to the brooding box, and I moved the ducks into it, thus freeing up a separate compartment for the turkeys. They seem fairly happy even though it’s just the two of them; I put in lots of logs for vertical climbing space, and they seem content to climb and perch. I think they miss having little chicks to pick on, though, since they seem to chase each other around a lot.