Squaggle Quack was a duck. More particularly, he was a drake. And what a fine drake he was! Mrs. Quack was known as Mrs. Quack, although her closest friends called her Seaxburh. She was named after Queen Seaxburh, an ancient Queen of Wessex. Her maiden name was Hrafnkelsdóttir. Very few know that.
The time had come for Squaggle and Seaxburh to start a family. The first priority was to choose a site for the nest. What a shamozzles! They couldn’t agree. Squaggle wanted the nest in the long grass on the side of a road.
“It’s dangerous,” said Seaxburh. “And there’s absolutely no view. What about on the side of that hill where I can enjoy the view of the valley as I sit on the eggs for four weeks?”
The discussion raged for several days. In the end, Squaggle won. A nest was made on the side of the road, with no view, and open to the elements.
“I think we should have eleven eggs,” suggested Squaggle.
“But I had my heart set on nine eggs,” said Seaxburh. In the end, Squaggle won. Eleven eggs were laid.
Seaxburh began the marathon of sitting on eleven eggs in a cold nest next to the road. It was the most boring thing she had ever done in her life. So uninteresting! So testing! And the rain! You’ve no idea!
In the meantime, Squaggle had flown off at the beginning of the sitting session and never bothered to come back. He’d done his part.
When the eleven ducklings hatched, Seaxburh told them that their family name was Seaxburhsdóttir or Seaxburhssen. Good on you, Seaxburh!