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Duck down the chimney

Duck down the chimney

Poudre River Stables, Fort Collins, C0, 80521

My daughter heard the sound in the chimney one night, something was up there, flapping.

I pooh-poohed her complaint until the dogs started guarding the fireplace. Our half-Beagle, half-German Shepherd, Vincent de Mile High, “Vinnie”, sat in front of the fireplace, and barked whenever it moved.

I preferred letting the wild thing figure its way out, rather than invade. That way, I didn't have to touch it, and likewise, it – say a rabid bat – didn't have to touch me.

By Sunday however, an apron of soot covered the fireplace bed and part of the hearth. The thing had been wiggling around, but was still hiding. I leaned into the fireplace and sent a pen light beam up the depths.

Something flap-flap-flapped just above my head, something big. I launched across the room on to the couch, the sound of my own scream in my ears. All four dogs ran to save me and succeeded in running around in circles, barking at the ceiling.

Our May winter – it snowed a couple of days ago – had finally departed, and we left the house doors open, put the dogs in their pen, and locked the cat in a bedroom. The theory here was that the thing would drop out in peace-and-quiet and disappear.

But by Sunday night, more soot covered the bottom of the fireplace and the hearth. It was up there, and would likely die a slow death, or get fried if we suddenly needed to light a fire. Poor Vinnie spent most of Sunday night guarding the fireplace.

Monday morning, my daughter returned home from an errand, and saw it in the kitchen window, trying to get out.

In a fit of bravery, we called Gregg to come over and aprehend what turned out to be this duck. How it got into a chimney, we’ll never know!