Buttercup and Daisy are our Aylesbury Ducks, birds bred over centuries to be too fat to fly.
This is an injury we have done them, for they have on one frightening occasions been caught by a fox.
One of the most terrifying moments of my life was seeing their white silhouette in mid-air in the jaws of a fox who let them go as I screamed.
Another time, a fox caught one by the wing, and it somehow escaped, and unusually for such timid birds, entered our living room in terror.
While our hens entered the kitchen, or roosted on the kitchen or living room windows, the ducks content themselves with coming to the back door of the kitchen and quacking urgently when they are hungry. They are very fond of each other, and hilarious in how they turn their heads at exactly the same angle to watch, for instance, an airplane fly overhead.
They are thoroughly amusing pets we’ve raised in our living room from ducklings who were just a few ounces, and do earn their keep, alone of all our pets, by producing one large beautifully shaped egg each everyday.