I looked up from the kitchen sink to see the ducks huddled in their pen. What could be the matter? Looking beyond them, I saw more black-and-white movement. But it wasn't one of our black-and-white ducks. It was an enormous eagle. Nearby puffs of white feathers told me she had caught someone already.
I'm all for supporting the local wildlife. Not at the expense of one of our beloved ducks. I grabbed the camera and moseyed over to the eagle, with a "Sorry to disturb you, but this is an inappropriate luncheon" look on my face. The eagle didn't want to leave her meal and kept dragging the duck farther away, pausing now and then to take a few bites.
Finally, she flew, and I went to retrieve the duck. Here comes the saddest part, so brace yourself--she was still breathing. In her mauled and torn chest, I could see her little ducky heart fluttering. Her eyes were closed, her wings twitched. I prayed that she was past the pain of being caught, and I sobbed great open-mouthed wails at my helplessness. The sorrows of the world are thick on the ground. Within a few minutes, her heart stopped.
Farewell, duck friend. May you dabble and splash and eat slugs all day long, wherever you are headed.