9-year-old animal whisperer saves 'bullied' duck
CENTRAL SAANICH -- You can hear her before you see her. It takes a moment to realize the sound is coming from a wooden enclosure beside the main building at the Country Bee Honey Farm. It's the quacking of a duck named Daisy.
"It's really loud," Tealey says. What do you think the duck is saying? I ask. The nine-year-old answers, "Play with me."
Tealey and her siblings have been playing with Daisy since she was a duckling. Tealey's dad shows me pictures of his daughter cradling baby Daisy – a ball of yellow feathers – in her hands. Jason says the girl and the duck have always been connected: "I call her the animal whisperer."
Jason says Tealey discovered that Daisy was being "bullied" by a bigger duck named Nibbles. One day, Tealey saw Nibbles violently biting Daisy's head. The girl rushed to the duck's rescue. Tealey says her feathered friend lost her signt in the fight. "[She felt] awful and scared," Tealey says.
"[Tealey] kinda took her under her wing," Jason says. His daughter bathed the duck and tended to her wound, before making a demand. "She said [Daisy] had to be kept on her own."
Tealey arranged for Daisy to be moved to a two-storey former rabbit enclosure to keep her safe. They call it Daisy's duck condo.
"[Tealey's] been taking care of her ever since," Jason says. "She feeds and does the water for her. Everything!" That includes – before and after school – taking Daisy for trips to see her new friends.
As soon as they notice Tealey carrying Daisy toward their pens, you can hear the sheep and goats bleating enthusiastically. Tealey says the goats love playing with the duck. Jason says the best part is watching Daisy's tail feathers wag as she walks under the sheep. "[They're} best friends," Tealey says.
After Daisy is done playing with her best friends in the pen, Tealey carries her next door, and places her gently in a pond.
After she's done a couple laps, the duck starts quacking at Tealey. It seems as though she's calling to her human hero, "Come on in and play with me!"