Duck Duck Goose

There’s a certain danger in going back to places you loved when you were little. Sometimes they’ll have changed – either for the worse, or for a better that is still upsetting just because it’s so different – and a cherished memory will be pushed aside by disappointment.

This was a worry I had when I went back to Wigginton Waterfowl Sanctuary, where my grandparents used to take my brother and me when we were small. But I was willing to take that risk in order to cuddle ducklings.

As it turned out, there was no risk at all. Wigginton was exactly the same as I remembered. It was still small and friendly, still run by the same owner, and still filled with plenty of small, fluffy animals that you can pick up and cuddle.

I went with my boyfriend, my brother, and my sis-in-law. We were the only people there who hadn’t come along with small children in tow, which made us feel slightly self-conscious, but not enough to turn down the opportunity to hold some of the Sanctuary’s residents.

The ducklings were very lively, and needed to be swaddled in a blanket so they didn’t get too overexcited.

The chicks…not so much. This one fell asleep as I was stroking its head.

As you can see, being a resting spot for a chick was a real hardship.

I also got to make friends with this little chap, who kept headbutting me and trying to burrow under my hands.

After we’d done a good few rounds of cuddling, we went outside and met some of the sanctuary’s other residents.

Then it was time for one last duckling cuddle before we had to go. This little one ate a beetle and I had to wipe the remains off his beak, like he was my duckling baby.

In other news, I now plan to adopt a duckling as my baby.

Wigginton was a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, and I’m so glad that it was still as I remembered it. I can’t wait to go back.


About Alice Nuttall

Alice Nuttall is a caffeine-guzzling knitter who divides her time between Oxford and the various worlds in her head. She is the author of a YA fantasy novel, Spider Circus, and three webcomics, Footloose, Cherry, and Black Market Magic, as well as several short stories.
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