For a while there our back yard didn’t have nearly enough patches of missing grass but, thanks to the efforts of our Five-Duck Lawn Modification Team, we don’t have to worry about that any more. They continually slip under the backyard gate and eat entire patches of grass into oblivion. Most of the patches are the size of dinner plates, but some of the more impressive ones approach the size of kiddie pools.

I know a lot of the UFO buffs out there believe crop circles are created by little green men. I don’t buy that nonsense for a moment. Crop circles are created by hyper-intelligent space ducks. Being incredibly advanced, their patterns are larger and more elaborate than the crude circles our mere earth ducks can manage, but they do it for the same reason – to enrage whoever owns the land that has been modified.

In the case of our Five Duck Lawn Modification Team, that land owner is my wife. She threatens the team will all sorts of punishments every time new patches appear. Her threats fall on deaf ears (or lack thereof). The team just snickers amongst themselves and ignore her.

When our ducks aren’t eating holes in the lawn, they spend a good part of their leisure hours “decorating” the floor of our backyard deck. For a bunch of small animals, they achieve a surprising amount of coverage. Their efforts are tribute to the power of single-minded dedication combined with a sizable amount of roughage.

Our chickens get in on the action, too. Where the ducks are limited to the floor of the deck, the chickens focus themselves primarily to banister coverage. Some of the more intrepid members decorate the covers of the grill and smoker. Oh, and did I mention the steps? Where the ducks completely ignore the steps, the chickens concentrate on them. Perfectionist that they are, they are not satisfied until it is impossible for any of us larger-footed creatures to use the steps without having to perform a significant amount of scraping afterwards.

When it comes to lawn augmentation our ducks can’t do it all. They subcontract out the removal of our backyard plants to our Four-Goat Flower Bed Eradication Squad (FGFBES). The squad consists of a group of baby goats who are small enough to slide under the fence that separates our backyard from our pasture.

The FGFBES is dedicated to the elimination of unsightly flower beds the world over, provided the world does not extend beyond our backyard. They make sure every flower in my wife’s flower bed is chewed down to nothing. They don’t limit themselves to eradicating the flowers, either. They also do a passible jog clearing out her vegetable garden, “humming bird” plants and several years of growth on my berry bushes.

Now and again, the FGFBES members add their contribution to decorating the deck. One goat, who we call Bad Boy, added his own touch by knocking out a section of deck railing. He also ate off a significant portion of the pump house door. Some of the ducks now slip inside the pump house to lay eggs.

We look forward to the next generation of our lawn modification team.