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Special care to give duckling a quacking future

PUBLISHED: 14:00 04 August 2010 | UPDATED: 10:03 16 September 2010

Nicole North with Lucky, the duck

Nicole North with Lucky, the duck

Rebecca Gough

It is a tale involving a young woman, a duckling, and an unlikely pairing which would more often be reserved for the pages of a children's storybook.

But in one Norfolk village the story of the young duck who found a new home with a nineteen-year-old girl has become fact rather than fiction after a chance encounter several weeks ago.

It is a tale involving a young woman, a duckling, and an unlikely pairing which would more often be reserved for the pages of a children's storybook.

But in one Norfolk village the story of the young duck who found a new home with a nineteen-year-old girl has become fact rather than fiction after a chance encounter several weeks ago.

Nicole North, of Malters Close in Mundford, has reared and cared for Lucky, the duck, with the same dedication many people reserve for their pet cats and dogs.

Lucky, who was small enough to sit inside the palm of a hand, was discovered by Miss North's mother, Sharon Brackett, outside her nearby hair salon when it was just four days old.

After taking it home to her daughter for some much-needed care and attention, it has flourished into a fully-grown brown bird, albeit one who enjoys baths and sits under the dining room table.

Miss North, who works at Aldi and has previously owned cats and dogs, said: “The first week she needed quite a lot of warmth, as her mother would normally have done that and so it was quite a lot of work.

“We had a box for her to sleep in and changed it during the day so she could run around. Now, we have a box in the garden and a bigger one in the garage where she sleeps at night because we have a lot of cats around here. It's good because you can walk up and down the garden and she follows.

“Everyone calls her what they want but I think she's quite lucky so that's what I called her. She's a bit wide and we think she was born late because I look at other ducks and she's tiny but she's fine.”

The duck is now able to swim after Miss North spent time wading out into a nearby pond, with Lucky following, and encouraged her to fly by throwing her into the air.

The plan is now to take Lucky to a nearby quarry where she will be encouraged to begin to fend for herself. The family have taken care to ensure she has not had too much human contact and chose the quarry for the ducks and swans which already live there.

Miss North said: “I'm surprised she hasn't gone anywhere already to find other ducks but I think she will when she's ready. “When I take her to the quarry I'll go into the lake and she'll follow me and I think she'll go off.

“I'm feeling a bit upset about it but it's okay because I know I've done something good and helped her out a bit.”


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