Once upon a time there was a little girl who went on holiday with her mummy and her daddy and her dog. They went on holiday to a farm in Devon because the daddy didn’t believe in taking foreign holidays until you had explored all of your own country. (N.B. the daddy subsequently moved to Australia having never visited the Peak District.)
Anyway, it was a couple of days into their holiday and by this time the little girl was so comfortable on the farm she went out exploring by herself. Well, the dog went exploring and the little girl followed.
They ran through some of the fields, and they walked into the barns, and they looked at all the animals, and they stayed away from the farm’s dog because it was mangy, and they found a family of ducks; a mummy duck and five baby ducks.
The mummy duck seemed upset about something and wasn’t really paying attention to her babies. The little girl wondered why.
On the way back through the farm from their exploration through the fields, the little girl’s dog stopped by a drain and starting barking. The little girl thought this was a bit strange but then again it was a very strange dog.
The little girl called the dog and tried to get the dog to leave the drain alone but the dog wouldn’t move.
The little girl decided she should probably have a look and see what the dog was barking at. She walked over to the drain – it was quite a big drain with very wide gaps in the metal – and looked down.
And what she saw down there was a baby duck! It was the sixth duckling!
The little girl tried to reach down and get the duckling but her arms were too short to reach. She looked at her dog and said “Go and get daddy – he’ll know what to do!” The dog, not being Lassie or otherwise stunt trained, had no idea what the little girl had said and just rolled in some nearby grass.
It looked like it was all up to the little girl – Super Girl!
She ran down to the farmhouse and into her parents’ room. She breathlessly explained what she had found and that she needed the daddy’s help to rescue the duckling.
Just at that minute, they heard a rumble of thunder in the distance. (Remember this is an English summer we’re talking about here!)
The rains were coming! And if they weren’t quick the poor duckling would get washed away!
“Hurry up Daddy!”
The little girl and her daddy rushed out to the drain and when they got there the mummy duck and all her other ducklings were stood around the drain. But wait – didn’t she have five ducklings with her before? Now she only had four.
The daddy looked down into the drain and there were two ducklings there now!
The daddy laid down and put his arm into the grate and pulled out one duckling, two ducklings and put them next to their mummy. He then shooed the reunited family away from the drain and towards the barn.
Just at that moment, the rain started and the little girl and her daddy ran back to the farmhouse before they got too wet.
Later in the holiday the dad saw the duck family and there were only three ducklings left. He didn’t tell his daughter until 10 years later. He tried to tell her that they had gone to live on a farm but the lie seemed rather empty since they were already living on a farm.
The little girl grew up into a young lady who found duck a very tasty meal. Especially with cherry sauce.
The family had a car accident on the way home from the holiday involving a hedge and a tractor.
The dog got fleas from the mangy farm mutt but lived a long happy life until she
died of a heart attack went to live on a farm.
The family never stayed on another farm.