I’m thinking it’s convenient having a hole in the fence so the ducklings can come and go as they please when suddenly my front legs feel crowded from the babies shoved up against me with their little legs moving a mile a minute and all the peeping from their tiny beaks makes me laugh on the inside. I try to shake them loose, but they’re like Velcro tabs that fly back and snap snugly against my legs of their own accord. Kahu runs after me.

“Hey big boy, the babies aren’t ready to be away from you, yet.” I trot on back and gently pick up the basket and carry it along with me to the lily pond thinking I’m pretty smart but really not grasping the bigger picture where they suffer a severe case of separation anxiety if I leave their line of vision.

I’m a freedom kind of Mastiff who likes to go where the wind takes me on short notice, no thought given to domesticity except for my Kahu nicely folded into my life on account of his easy-going nature and love of the one who keeps him warm on a cold night. So, I’m thinking these little mites have the makings of responsibility, which don’t suit me none. Even the word responsibility sounds like a mess of tangles that’ll tie you to a lost hedgehog and leave you to help the poor thing back to his hedgehog family. Now, I got the real meaning of ‘imprinting’ latched to my legs like ship barnacles. Not sure my freedom nature can keep an eye on these two who could fall into the nearest rabbit hole if I don’t let them cling to me until they are ready to return to Mabel their biological mom. I sigh and accept my fate thinking it might be easier if I stick them in my knapsack and carry them around my neck. Fortunately, it has several pockets of varying sizes and can accommodate them when they experience a growth spurt. Kahu follows us into our house. He stands nearby while I root through the Victorian cupboard and locate my knapsack right where I left it. A minute later, the tiny peepers are settled in the smallest pocket as nice as you please. I now find myself part of a little group headed to the lily pond. 

Kahu marvels over Mabel’s babies looking secure in a black denim knapsack that doesn’t resemble one of those pink diaper bags men carry on their shoulder full of stuff for their baby. It makes them look girly while their wives shop for more stuff to be lugged from place to place, it all being a distraction from their baby hidden somewhere among their stuff.

I lie down on the grass and remove the ducklings from their pockets. The little peepers crawl onto my head probably wanting a better view of the lily pads where a few frogs sit wondering where the racket is coming from. Kahu settles next to me and laughs at their antics. Not exactly what I had in mind when looking for peace and quiet.

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