Sadly, the rescue sandwiched in-between the rescue of the infamous peacock and wild turkey, did not fair so well. If you had read the previous two posts, you may have remembered me briefly mentioning the trip to Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit. We received a call Saturday morning regarding a duck that had a severe facial injury. As we pulled up to the cesspool of a pond in the heart of this once beautiful cemetery, our future rescue literally walked right toward our truck. However, as we thought that this might be the easiest rescue ever, he was startled by a car full of ‘characters’ who sped by (yes, in a cemetery). The quick ‘in and out’ rescue would end up having quite another meaning by the time this rescue was finally over. He headed right back into the abyss that even ‘swamp thing’ would second guess. Theresa and I made our way around to the side of the once beautiful pond where the injured angel journeyed. once there, I tried to coax the starving beauty with handfuls of corn, in hopes that he would float slowly within the length of my net. As he did, I removed my shoes and socks, expecting to slide a very short distance down into the murky mess, only wetting the cuffs of my long pants. Just when I thought he was close enough, I cast my ‘pole’ in his direction as I slide quickly into the depths of the quite unknown. Next thing I remember was my net was empty and my body, from my chest on down, was untangling itself from the submerged beast and thrusting what was left of my pride back onto the grassy knoll… the quick ‘in and out’ I mentioned previously. Shortly thereafter, we captured our prize, though both horrified at the damage inflicted to this precious angel. It was reported that some “pathetic, despicable, miscreant waste of a human being” (my words, and yes, I am being kind), had been feeding the ducks with firecrackers rolled up inside. I tried to put the blame possibly on a Snapper Turtle, not wanting to believe that a living, breathing, human form of life, could be so vile toward a beautiful gift from God. But after closely examining his injury, and seeing the burn marks around his entire face, bill (what was left of it) and tongue, I had very little doubt that something other than that was the case. As I tossed him food prior to his rescue, my heart wept as he tried helplessly trying to scoop up any bit of food within his cautious reach, grasping and swallowing almost nothing. His body was weak and frail, but his heart felt strong, as he kept his head up high, so not to be noticed as prey to a lurking predator. Once in our arms, he felt safe and calm. We then put him in a cozy carrier filled with a cushion of straw for his peaceful comfort, surrounded with clean water and a large bowl of protein food. He drank the water, yet still fumbled with the food, while trying to scoop as much as he possible could with the remainder of his lower bill, again, a tear fell from my eye, as I watched in shear disillusionment. I am not one to wish ill on others, but I hope the devil himself, devours the soul of the accused perpetrator, though justice would still be left unrendered. As we contemplated our options, I spoke with a licensed rehabilitator that I work with, and we tossed around the idea of trying to find a process where we could possible attach an artificial bill in the stead of his loss, however, and quite sadly, late into the second day of our special time with him, he passed away in the comfort of warmth and love.