Embrace sleep, tiny duckling, it’s the only nonlethal treatment for consciousness, a capability that you’ll appreciate soon enough.
Adult ducks don’t do this - they can ‘sleep’ one half of their brain at a time, so always keep at least one eye open a vigilant for danger. Similarly whales and dolphins.
Very cute indeed.
Not so cute: the fact that chicks (and presumably ducklings) can drown in ~1/16" of water in their first week due to this sort of sleepiness.
As a child I noticed that the long queues of little ducklings following their mother gradually shrank as the summer went on until only one or two were left. It was an early introduction to the idea that cuteness is no protection against the horrors of life.
As human beings we play God; we select a few small animals and treat them kindly so that they grow up tame and with a long life expectancy. But nature is not kindly; it’s an evil, destructive thing of kill and die. When we postulate a beneficient God, we’re actually describing our own attempts to defeat nature.
I wonder if that is the reason why the weird old WWI ditty went “If the ocean were whisky and I were a duck I’d swim to the bottom and never come up”? I always wondered about that.
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