A while ago I realised that Gandalf would rarely let Debra have the goose bath to herself for long enough for her to have a good wash. He was always pushing her off to get in himself. And in the bad frosts the plastic bath we used to have for them fell to pieces. It has been replaced with a large drip tray we rescued from a skip when a local pub was closing-down some years ago.
Even so, Gandalf tends to climb into Debra’s bath to chase her off in case hers is better in some way, (about to make his move!)
so she pops deftly round and gets into his,
and, just as she is nicely settled, he decides to make his move again to climb over and get back into where he was before.
This game of musical bathtrays can continue for quite a long while and I wish I had time to take a video and put it to music, but my own time is short at the moment. Debra has become quite nifty at speeding round behind him from one bath to the other, getting a quick fluff of feathers in the water, before popping round again to the next bath.
However, he usually tires of this eventually and they settle down to have a Mr. and Mrs. Bathtime.
We shall have to experiment with distances between baths for optimal washing time for Debra: too far apart and she will feel lonely and not get in, too close and Gandalf can jump in too easily and too fast.
Sometimes it can get quite energetic:
and is always thorough:
While watching them this morning
I was listening to BBC Radio ‘From our own correspondent’, a programme of in-depth reports from individual BBC reporters around the world, commenting on anything that makes a background to the news rather than the news itself. As far as I understand it, the reporters can choose their subject. It is always an interesting and illuminating programme.
Well, today, a reporter was speaking from Southern Sudan about the Elections there for Independence: interviews with voters, asking for peoples’ views on the country, their hopes, the recent past, their experiences, etc. etc. One man spoke of how exhausted his village had become from the frequent air attacks coming over from the North and the constant rush to air-raid shelters. He hoped the elections would spell an end to war.
But one of his comments in particular caught my attention: he said that when the villagers rushed to the air-raid shelters, the dogs, chickens and ducks also rushed to the shelters too, independently of the people and of their own volition. When even the animals have learned how to behave in a time of human war it says something.
River of Stones: today’s pebble – “A blur of snowy bottoms, a silver tadpole shower, glimpses of marigolds – she’s on the move again”.