I was surprised that the first thing people asked when I told them I had rescued a day old duckling and was raising it in my back yard was "What are you going to name it?" I tried to explain to everybody from my dad to my neighbors that I was not naming him. He was a wild duck. I was trying to limit my contact with him. Finally my husband pointed out that the duck would not know if I named him. I think he was just tired of me referring to her as "the duckling". So I figured there would be no harm in naming him. It's not like she would recognize her name or come when I called. So now I had to decide on a name. Everyone had a suggestion and they all were specific to gender.
If you are an observant reader you have noticed and no doubt been irritated by the fact that I have been bouncing back and forth between he and she and him and her. No, English is not my second language and yes, I understand the use of personal pro-nouns. This too was driving my husband crazy. Not that a duckling was floating around and pooping in our pool but that I could not decide on a name or whether to refer to duck as he or she.
But my midnight forays to the internet had made me a virtual walking encyclopedia of duck facts and trivia. One of those facts is that it is impossible to tell the gender of a duck until it has gotten its adult feathers at about nine months of age. Maybe the ducks can tell but I couldn't. So it was possible I might never know the gender of "my duck" since it was still my goal to return this duckling to the wilds of our neighborhood pond.
Being a big fan of the Saturday Night Live skit "Its Pat" I decided to choose a unisex name. My husband, also a SNL fan, voted for Pat. Not. Since this post is titled "The Dilly Chronicles" you might have already figured out I named the duckling Dilly. I'm not sure why, it just came to me. And in case you are wondering, yes, Dilly does recognize the name and yes, Dilly does come when I call.
P.S. If you want to know if Dilly is a male or female make sure to read the next installment of The Dilly Chronicles because now I do know which pro-noun to use.
Thanks for reading,