The Vanderbills – where there is grief, there is love ❤️🦆 Gloria and James Vanderbill were two Ancona ducks happily going about their ducky business when misfortune snagged dear James by the leg. So crippled did he become that he was no longer able to properly feed himself and he slowly began to slip away. Flying off as she did each day, Gloria would always loyally return to the company of her friend. Yet left to the elements, it would only be a matter of time before ill-health or a wily fox caught up with dear James. Beating both of them to the mark was kindness, but not before considerable efforts and a good dose of tenacity ensured not one but two birds would be saved that day.
Sadly, though, our glee for their rescue was to be short-lived as we soon discovered not only the full extent of the most serious nature of James’s injury but that his emaciated little body was harbouring an incredibly high level of lead toxicity. All combined, and despite our want for a different outcome, James was released from his suffering to a higher plane, one where he now flies free as all ducks should. And dear Gloria is slowly coming to terms with her loss and her new world in our waterbird wonderland. At first, she was very shy, hesitant and reserved, and would hang by herself. But as the sun hit their pond each day, there was another version of Gloria: a stronger, more resilient and confident one, yet one too who mourns the loss of her friend and the love they once had. We catch a glimpse of this every now and then as she steals herself away.
They say that time heals all wounds, and no doubt it will this time too, but in her grief, Gloria reminds us that whether feathered, furred or fleeced, and despite the limits of our fullest understanding of these animals, we can recognise that, as social beings for whom group living is important, they think and feel far more than we have ever expected or dared to believe, for where there is grief, there is love.