Dave

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Baby Update: Sid and the Empty Nesters


We haven’t had a Baby update since the original story (here) and in talking with our Mission Trace correspondent, Sid Seidenberger, There have been quite a few recent developments.

I’m happy to say that many of Sid’s neighbors enjoyed the story of Baby and her parents, and I thank you for taking the time to check in to my little place on the web.

As for the “Evil Duo”, Sid reports “they still lurk in the offing always at the ready to attack their trespassing offspring, who, unbeknownst to them, is their own flesh (feathers?) and blood. So sad, so very sad."

A few weeks ago, Sid told me that Baby has sought refuge from the relentless sun under his back steps to the Mission Trace Lake. Recently, he noticed that Baby has a roommate under the steps with her. He said, “Somehow a large white female duck has decided to nest under there, and she has deposited one egg and is working on another! Poor Baby is perplexed by this intruder and is harmlessly biting at this duck a-laying. The duck doesn't budge from her nest; Baby persists in protecting "her territory"; so only time will tell which fowl will prevail.”

I think Sid has really taken on the duties as Swan-Daddy. I mentioned to Sid how my wife and I are currently operating as “empty-nesters” the goal of every parent (hopefully). He told me that his sister and brother-in-law, Monica and Jim Hicks of Grand Lake Estates in Montgomery, Tx, are going through a similar experience. And as we find out, perhaps Sid is feeling a little of that parental uneasiness with Baby.

Sid compares Baby’s first night out of her cage to his Nephew Jake’s first night away from home and his parents. You may recall that our little Cygnet friend was staying in a cage to protect her from raccoons and such. Sid reports that the nervousness he had for Baby (being out on her own) made him feel for his sister and her husband. Their 17 year-old son Jake (Sid’s nephew) is off to Rice University, where he has a full ride football scholarship. How nice is that!

Because the Rice Owls have started their practices, and the players are enrolled in summer session courses, Jake was off to camp. According to his proud Uncle Sid, “Jake has never gone away to camp, left the nurturing comfort of his loving home for any extended stay, or strayed for any length of time from the safe environs of his familial surroundings.” Jake is 6 feet 5 inches tall, weighs in at 270 pounds, and has to buy size 16 shoes; I suspect he’ll be okay. He will literally be a "big man" on campus!

In the meantime, after her first night out of the cage, Sid found Baby under the back steps and was relieved that she was fine other than for having to contend with her "guest on the nest." But that relief has only been short-lived.


Last week, Sid told me about an incident that gave Baby, the duck, and everyone in slithering distance a little scare! Turns out that the eggs Baby’s new duck friend laid attracted a reptilian guest. Sid says “Jorge, the landscape crew foreman here, rushed to our back steps here in under three minutes after we called the security officer at the gate to report another "intruder" of sorts! Jorge managed to apprehend the culprit... a 7 ft. Texas Rat Snake that was in the process of devouring a duck egg!”

According to former Mission Trace HOA Grounds Committee Chairperson, Mrs. Jo Huff, "This enormous snake had been eating all the duck eggs being laid in the past few years." This seems to be why the Mission Trace duck population has been dwindling, all due to this enormous 7 ft. demon devouring all potential hatches. In speaking with other Mission Trace residents, Sid learned that many people had seen this snake before and knew it inhabited the neighborhood.

Let's hope nephew Jake won’t have to worry about Rats at Rice, though in fairness, his older sister Lindsay may have to contend with a few snakes since she attends Texas State University... Just kidding!

At any rate, just like the proud parents Monica and Jim are "empty-nesters", I think Sid can understand the anxieties parents face because, as a proud Swan-Daddy he knows that Baby has grown, and in spite of the known and unknown dangers out there, he has to learn to let her go.

Sid tells me that, “With the demise of this slithering serpent, Baby's life is back to normal. She had her feathers ruffled by that intrusive, no good, egg-gobblin' dirty rat snake, but life on the lake is once again leisurely and serene for her. Now Baby's only fowl foes are her mama and daddy, who reject her daily and prevent her from taking a truly peaceful swim as they patrol the lake more vigilantly than the Selma cops with their infamous IH-35 speed-trap of yesteryear!”

Bonus for the reference to Selma! In the end my wife and I gave up the weekend as empty-nesters and headed up to Wichita Falls to see our daughter. I’ll have a full report on our wonderful, event-filled adventure soon.

How did you spend your Father’s Day? See any snakes? Tell me about it.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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