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Duckies

Fifi

First, I want to have my food and water and then to have some rest.

Mogyi

The world is full of dangers, strange noises, approaching steps, reached-out hands...

I'm content I'm scared

About two months ago my boyfriend asked me if he could bring a duckling here who was offered by one of his colleagues. I was a bit surprised by the idea simply because we live on the 5th floor in an apartment.

Two days later there came a shoebox with two shy little birds in it carefully placed on a piece of newspaper. So instead of one duckling two had come to live with us. I've always loved dogs so one of them was called Fifi and the other's name was Mogyi. This name needs some explanation. My boyfriend wanted to find the word "black" in the French-Hungarian pocket dictionary and there, after "noir" comes "noisette" which is "mogyoro" in Hungarian (I'm a Hungarian girl) .He considered this to be a funny-sounding word so he decided to call our other duck "Mogyi" (mogyi is the short form of mogyoro which means "peanuts").

To be honest, first I was a bit afraid of them. They were so tiny so fragile that I didn't know how to lift them up. But as they grow I wanted to get close to them more and more although Fifi and Mogyi did not really appreciate my probably awkward trials. For me it was strange to accept the fact that they were not pets but birds who were not enthusiastic about tender touches or some feather stroking.

Their appearance was quite different from the beginning. Mogyi had darker tones in its down, black with some maroon, while Fifi's dress was lighter brown with some beige mixture.The main difference was not the way they looked like but the way they behaved. Though Fifi was a bit thinner and smaller her appetite was bigger than that of Mogyi's. She was the one who accepted first the food from our palms. She often seemed to be cheerful and satisfied. She was greedy, vivid and lively. On the contrary, she was calmer and more peaceful  Many times she "sat down" while Mogyi kept on moving not feeling secured unless he could be occupied in chewing the cable of the telephone or Guillaume's shoelace (which sight I always found very nice). So Mogyi was a little nervous duck. He appeared to be more timid, more scared of us. It was rather difficult to catch him since he was too quick and alert He usually tried to jump out of their box and quite often he succeeded. Between the two of them Mogyi was the "leader" and Fifi was the "follower".If they were separated for a second they immediately started to cry very loudly and desperately looking for each other.

I liked their voices a lot. It was pleasant to listen to their "we're hungry, thirsty or just lonely" calls, the happy 'chirrup' or 'quack-quack'. The rolling sounds they could make were coming so beautifully out of their pretty long necks and even prettier shiny little heads  When they were sleeping they slept next to one another. I loved to see them with their eyes closed, their small, small head put under the big, big, almost ready-for-flight wings.

Within those two months our ducklings became grown-ups. The soft down changed into darker feathers, the tiny, fragile birds turned to be big ducks who needed some more freedom, a small lake to swim in and some fresh green grass to eat which we couldn't offer them here so last week Fifi and Mogyi were taken to their final home, to the garden of Guillaume's parents. (soon we're going to visit them).



Zsuzsanna Desnoix-Geczki, 1-jul-97

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