March 28

Dear Diary,
Our yard is full of peeping and quacking. All the runner ducks are very excited by the babies, and they all run down to the water together as soon as they are out of the pen. Father has been helping to watch them so no predators catch the ducklings.  Even though we live in a village, there are wild cats in the forests and they are known to hunt for ducks and chickens. Mr. Dipak saw a jungle cat near his farm only last year. It had tufts of fur at the tips of its ears.

Fortunately, the hunting usually takes place at night, when our ducks are all safe in their pens.  Father and I built another large shed and pen for the ducks, since we will have too big a flock for the old pen. In a couple of months, these babies will be as big as their mothers!

Mutka and Oma don’t seem to realize that they each have almost two dozen babies to look after. It's good that ducks do not really need their mothers to feed them. There is a lot to eat in the pond and plenty of bugs in the meadow.

I laugh when I call Mutka, because she runs to me and all those babies run after her! Some of the runner ducklings are yellow and others are black. My father’s eyes shine when he talks about all the good eggs we will have this autumn. I dream of a huge flock of ducks more than I do of eating eggs. But there will be plenty of both if we are lucky!

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