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Friday, October 14, 2016

And then there were four....

The silence was deafening this morning.  Yesterday at o' dark thirty, I wrestled eleven ducks into two large dog crates, loaded them in my car and headed north.  One of the downsides of living in this state is the dearth of processors, thanks to over-regulation.  There was one processor who would handle ducks and they were a good distance north of me, with an early cut-off time for drop-off, to boot.

Armed with my trusty GPS, off I went.  An hour and a half later, after going 2.2 miles this way, 3.1 miles that way, 5.6 miles the other way, etc., I was thinking how lucky I was to have my trusty GPS to guide me through this maze of back roads, country lanes, hills and dales.  It guided me all right - right into the back yard of someone who was NOT the processor.   I believe I was within spitting distance of Canada.

Frantic now (having all that quacking in the back did not help sooth my nerves), I drove aimlessly, trying to find a signal so I could call them and report my lost-ness.  I went right into their voicemail.  I left a fairly unintelligible message and begged for mercy and an time extension.  I squinted at my phone (having conveniently forgotten to bring my glasses) and typed in the address again.  Bingo!  I was off - in the wrong direction.  By now my blood pressure was rising and the inside of the car was littered with feathery down and wood shavings - having 11 equally frantic and stinky ducks in near proximity means windows down.  I found a sheriff's way station and rang the bell.  No answer, even though there were about six cars in the parking lot.  I briefly contemplated hitting the big, red EMERGENCY HELP button, but then figured they wouldn't agree that being lost with a car full of ducks constituted a legitimate reason for breaking up their coffee klatch/card game and would arrest me for false emergency.  Back in the car, I tried once again to reach the processor - and did!

Turns out they were very close to where I had been about 45 minutes ago - about 20 miles away.  By the time I pulled into the drive, I was a mess.  But they were very nice about it and did not refuse to take the ducks (that was the awful thought that kept running in loops through my mind).  We briefly discussed the giant turkeys a farmer had dropped off (we had a bet as to what the processed weight would be - I won.  I was closer to the final 42#) and I took myself off. 

Since it was a lovely day and I was close to Vermont, I stopped to pick up my yearly apple supply and headed to my parents' house.  Five cups of tea later, I was finally calm.  I drove back to the processor, loaded the now-quiet ducks into the cooler and headed home.  I also gleaned a happy nugget of news - this guy was merely renting the facilities until he put a processing unit into his own farm - a mere half hour from me!  Woot!

I straggled inside, squeezed the ducks into the freezer, let the dogs out and poured a glass of wine (not necessarily in that order).  The four girls left were very quiet - I imagine they decided to keep a low profile, just in case...  After a little carrying-on this morning, they settled down and seemed to enjoy the fact that they could forage and splash without being assaulted every five minutes.  I am enjoying the quiet until they re-find their voices.

16 comments:

  1. WHAT an adventure! Had I been you, I just may have hit that emergency help button at the sheriff's way station. (How much more of an emergency did you need?) Glad it all turned out well and you even learned that that particular processor will soon (hopefully) be located much closer to you. I so wish we had a processor within driving distance of us. We're going to have to gear up to the job some day here ourselves very soon. Ugh.

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    1. Oy!. I don't envy you one bit. It is not a nice job. At least the weather will be in your favor...right?

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  2. I could feel the desperation. New regulations were brought in here about five years ago and overnight our processors disappeared.

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    1. Susan - I was pretty desperate, all right. We have all the regulations (they don't call NY the Nanny State for nothing - or the Vampire State) and then there was the Avian Flu scare. That did most of the small guys in.

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  3. I'm so happy to be a vegetarian.... ;-)

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  4. I got anxious just reading this. I hate to get lost, especially when I am supposed to be somewhere at a specific tims. Being late is also a big no no for me. Glad everything worked out.

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    1. Oh, so do I! I am usually early and not late - plus the ducks being right behind my head was not helpful. A plant-based diet is starting to sound better and better.

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  5. Yep. You may have gotten lost, but it was a good thing you didnt get lost and stop at the copshop AFTERwards... how would you explain all thw little bodybags in the back? LAWL!

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    1. Janice - LOL!! I can see it now..."step out of the car, slowly, lady....put your hands where we can see them...now about these bags...."

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  6. I just spit tea on my screen. You got me with the "now quiet ducks". Oh, you are a hoot. Glad they waited for you. Darn GPS---mine plays funny games with us as well. I look at the bright side---I see places I never would have...............
    ;)

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  7. As bad and nightmarish as that trip was, it ended better for you than for the ducks alright. If I were one of the four remaining ones, I'd keep my head down too!

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  8. You will remember that adventure every time you serve duck.

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  9. We have no processors at all who will do ducks but are very lucky to have one who will do turkeys. As soon as it is cold enough I am going to have to buck up so we can do the drakes. There are two who look good and are civilized, the others will be roast.
    When you have your roast duck you will know it was worth it!

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