Ducks take a Dive at Market – Thursday December 1900

We were going to drive to market to-day, partly because of those ducks. But through the night, there was a hurricane of a wind and rain and in the morning a waste of waters. The river had not been so high for 27 years; so said some older residenters.

As the storm still continued, we went to the market by train. The station is three minutes walk distant. Do not you wish you were so conveniently situated? Did ever any one see out of Smithfield — isn’t that where all dead flesh is sold? —- such an array of dressed ducks and geese? Our hearts melted like water but we were sustained for some time by the recollection of the good sale and the good prices at last Christmas market.

Alas for human calculations, nobody wanted our ducks. If it were any comfort to know, neither did anyone want the hundreds of other ducks and geese laid out in tempting array and packed in huge baskets and boxes.

It was a stormy day and people were loath to turn out. It was five whole days before Christmas and bad keeping weather. Naturally, the housewives hesitated to buy a dressed fowl so many days before it was wanted. There would be time enough on Saturday. We were glad to let ours go at 2s 6d each. Last year, they sold readily at 3s 6d and 4s. Live fowls sold just as well and much more readily .

A neighbouring farmer’s wife, who dresses many dozens for the Christmas market, working with her helpers on Thursday the previous night — had to cart back her baskets of despised geese and ducks. What will she do with them, we have been wondering?

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