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Where We Left Off:
The Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency found and collected new specimens. It was a partial set of fairy wings.
Duck, Duck, Goddess:
As much as I would love to title this case file, “Goose on the Loose,” I can’t. Because we were dealing with the domesticated ducks who live a few houses down the road. It was August 7, 2023. The Cook shouted, “The ducks are in the yard!”
What on earth was she talking about?
The Grumpy Old Man said, “They’re back. I’ve seen them before. I don’t think the owner wants them.”
What the heck?
Don’t get me wrong. We’re a family who has made plenty of mistakes with getting into situations that are over our heads. That includes caretaking for certain types of pets. Every once in a while, a turtle would just show up as a gift—”rescued” while crossing the road. Normally, The Grumpy Old Man would stop his truck and assist turtles across. Many people do. It’s quite nice. However, animals taken from their wild homes are probably not thrilled to be confined in small enclosures, mostly ignored, but still fed.
Oliver and Gus were intrigued by our quacking guests to say the least. They watched from the overlooking observation platform while discussing the situation. The humans had their own debates: Should someone call one of the neighbors who knew the owners? Should we try to herd them out of our yard? One duck had already gone into the street and luckily survived. Was calling Animal Control an option or too severe of a reaction?
“They’re definitely bonded to each other,” Oliver said.
The detectives had one person who would be the first choice in seeking answers, Neliza Drew, a duck mother in Florida. She’s not a duck. She takes them in when they’re injured or lost in storms. They live spoiled lives along with several equally spoiled cats. I reached out to her on behalf of Oliver and Gus. She suggested trying to find a duck rescue organization or rehab facility.
Here’s where we ran into a problem. There was a great rehabilitation group in North Jersey called Antler Ridge. They closed down when their founder passed away. She was the primary worker to treat animals and do all the work for eighteen years. Without Antler Ridge, that left only two other bird rescue organizations, Raptor Trust or Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. Ducks aren’t raptors. That didn’t mean the Raptor Trust was completely out of consideration, but they are also an hour away. Cedar Run is even farther away in South Jersey.
The Cook decided to call the only neighbor she has the phone number for and asked that woman to please pass along the message that the ducks were here. The teens (duck owners) had just arrived home and the message was relayed. They came over, chatted for a few minutes, and awkwardly asked for permission to go in our yard to herd the ducks.
When I asked if the ducks could be picked up and held, they said, “Not easily.”
The teens managed to guide the ducks home. Since then, the ducks seem to wander freely through several backyards and into the woods. Gus and I have not snuck over there to see if the ducks have any kind of enclosure or even a little pond for water. Ducks need clean water.
That doesn’t close our case. Oh not at all. Gus and Ollie needed help with research to see if these ducks are mundane or possessed any kind of supernatural qualities. As I helped them in this research, I was surprised by the amount of cultures that had folklore, legends, and deities connected to ducks.
Goddess of the source of the River Seine whose healing shrine, Fontes Sequanae [L, springs of Sequana], dating from the 2nd century bc, is found north-west of Dijon, eastern France. Despite her Celtic origin, Sequana was clearly esteemed by the Romans, who enlarged Fontes Sequanae with two large temples. She is represented by a large bronze statuette of a draped young woman wearing a diadem, with arms outstretched as if to welcome suppliants and standing in a duck-shaped boat.
Details in surviving figures imply much about the nature of Sequana’s worship. Her devotees are depicted in heavy, hooded woollen cloaks, the kind worn by ordinary Celtic peasants. They bear her gifts of fruit, money, or pet animals. A large pot inscribed with Sequana’s name is filled with silver and bronze body parts to be cured by her. Simultaneously, complete bodies, as well as coins and jewellery, are offered to her, presumably in the hope of a reciprocal cure. —Oxford Reference
Gus and Oliver studied the feathers that I retrieved from the yard. As pretty as they were, the cats did not detect anything supernatural about them. Since our up close encounter with three ducks, they have continued to visit from time to time with a fourth duck. I personally have not called upon nor worshipped the French Goddess Sequana, but it is certainly intriguing. Maybe the ducks’ appearance is a sign that Sequana is reaching out to us.
Ducks from a neighboring yard began to visit the Winchester-Nabu estate. There have been four all together that we’ve noticed. We can’t find any answers about why the human caretakers for these creatures allow them to roam freely. It is possible that the humans truly don’t want the birds anymore and rather than re-homing them properly, they’re waiting to see if a predator comes along and solves their “problem.” We haven’t called Animal Control (yet). We also are not in a position to care for the ducks here. If Gus happens to have an encounter with any of them, I honestly don’t know if I should feel guilty about some other owner’s carelessness.
The case was wrapped up in this specific act of trespassing when The Cook started a phone tree. The owners/teens came over and took the ducks home.
Case Status: Closed
N/A, N. (2004) Sequana, Oxford Reference. Available at: https://www.oxfordreference.com/display/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100455380 (Accessed: 23 August 2023).