Today we took the twins and Bubbe to a nearby U-pick farm to gather strawberries. U-pick farms are something of a touristy thing here in New Jersey, and New Jersey strawberries are a special treat. Being so fragile, they don’t transport well enough to be sold in regular supermarkets, so it’s a delicacy that you’ll only find at local farmstands.
After we gathered to our hearts’ content (and being mindful of last year’s cherry-picking fiasco to the tune of $90 worth of cherries being picked) we cashiered out within budget, had our picnic lunch, and then let the girls take a gander at the geese, ducks and bunnies that most of these farms have for the kids to pet and feed (the food costs a little something, of course)
While handing out the breadcrumbs, Zanna learned that it is Not A Good Idea to actually put your hand (covered with edibles) into the duck pen. A greedy waterfowl gobbled up the crumbs and then tried to gobble up her fingers! More than a little disturbed by this, we managed to pull about half her hand back out of the creature’s gullet.
My husband, stil gamely trying to interest the birds in something other than kiddie fingers, also got a bit of a shock as the crafty bird suddenly lunged and snatched the plastic baggie out of his hands.
Instant mayhem ensued as the silly duck tried to eat the baggie. The twins were panicking, thinking the bird would choke to death, Bubbe beat at the pen’s sides trying to startle the thing into dropping the bag, and the duck gamely kept trying to get the bag down its throat.
It even hopped into its little wading pool to moisten the ziplock in hopes of getting it down easier.
My husband ran off in search of Responsible People to rescue the foolhardy fowl, while the girls ran around the duck pen and shrieked at the duck, “NO! NO! Naughty duck! That’s DANGEROUS!!!”
About when the duck finally managed to get most of the baggie down its craw, the girls were emitting ear-splitting shrieks and wails and FINALLY one of the farm staff ran up, dashed into the pen and proceeded to wrestle the duck for posession of the plastic.
As the girls shouted and cheered and jumped up and down for joy, the duck disgruntledly waddled away and we all profusely thanked the farm person for averting certain disaster.
Several hours later, the girls were still lecturing their daddy on why it is Not Good to feed ducks plastic baggies.
So if you’re wanting an exciting time this summer, head on over to one of New Jersey’s many U-pick farms and make a day of it (don’t forget your sunscreen, though!) the beaches are way too crowded these days, anyway!
Remember, there’s a reason why New Jersey is called the ‘Garden State’!