Once upon a time 4 dirty, smelly, moulting ducks were bought from a market in Brittany by a nice lady who took them home in a scary noisy moving machine which made them poop even more with fear. Once they had been shown their new home with nice clean straw to lie on and a big bowl of water to clean themselves up in, and lots of yummy food, they started to settle down. And poop even more, but poop is what they did, as they were ducks. The nice lady was very sad that they had had their wings clipped badly and one of them was bleeding.
After a few days they started to venture outside, but they wouldn't go far from the shed. They had had a good wash and brush up by now in the clean water that the nice lady kept bringing them.
Then she started to try to show the duckies that there was more water to play in than what she gave them in a washing up bowl - more water than they could possibly imagine, having never seen water like that before in their lifetimes. They were very scared, but the nice lady kept enticing them towards it with food. And they liked food.
Once they had got all the way down towards the big scary water, the nice lady spent literally hours trying to entice the duckies into the water, by showing them that it didn't bite, and she went into the water herself many times to show them this.
Eventually they realised that it was quite fun to sit beside the water, and even to drink from it. But still they would not go in it, even though the nice lady spent her days standing in it calling them.
Sometimes they even went back near their shed to sit in a bowl of water, which was far less scary.
But the nice lady persevered, and one day the duckies decided to take the plunge and realised, Oh what fun this water is, we can have a really good wash in it and make our feathers even glossier!
After many weeks of staying close to the lake edge, so that they could jump out at any given moment, in case a crocodile or a loch ness monster attacked them, they realised that they could swim, and go far and wide and traverse this great big bowl of water. By then their feathers had grown and they were sleek and healthy and beautiful. Life was fun, and it was all thanks to the nice lady.
The duckies lived happily ever after (until 3 of them met their makers that is). One day only one duck was left. The nice lady spends her time wondering whether to get more ducks, perhaps of a different breed.
Watch this space!