Nonfiction Written Works

Finding Chico Suave a Forever Home by Marie Rodriguez Carrillo

One day I received a call from my neighbor Jim; he was upset. He had a family of Mallard baby ducks, and two magpie birds had killed all the siblings but one. I said, “Bring him to me.” He brought the little duck with a tiny bird cage shortly after. I have raised many animals in my lifetime; I was raised on a farm and ranch as a young girl. I delivered many babies as a young girl. I was called the Toltec Mid-Wife. So, I said a prayer and asked God to give me all that’s needed to raise this little guy. 

He was so tiny that he fit in the middle of my little hands. My grandkids were visiting that weekend from Colorado Springs; they felt so sorry for him and vowed to be his little brother and sisters. My daughter said she’d help with whatever the little duck needed. 

I received him in August 2021, and it was October 2022; it was time to find him other ducks to be around so he could live a full life. We all wanted him to thrive with other ducks the rest of his life. Now, I’m not saying this was easy. This was one of the bittersweet decisions of my lifetime. Guess who got very attached to this little guy? Me. Every night, I would sing this crazy little song to him, ”Good night sleep tight and may your dreams come true. Good night! Sleep tight! And may your dreammmmssss come true!” Well, this little guy loved his song at night before he went to bed. He would dance, believe it or not. I have the videos. 

He had a regimen each day: he would eat in the am, then I’d put him in the yard that had many trees, and his little pool of water so he could swim and bathe himself all day. He got so big over the years: beautiful colors on his wings, purple and gray, and his neck was a shiny pretty green color. He was so beautiful, and he knew it too. He would squawk for me when I was outside, or he wanted to come inside to his cage. I understood Chico Suave; he knew me, and I knew him. I was his makeshift mommy. He was another orphan God sent me. 

I knew as his mommy that I had to find him a place where he could live out the rest of his years with other ducks; a sanctuary, so to speak. As much as I wanted to keep him all the days of his life and mine, I knew it wasn’t realistic if I truly loved Chico Suave. I knew that I had to do this as hard as it was. He couldn’t fathom how hard this decision was for me. So, I called around to see if there was a duck rescue anywhere in the State of Colorado. I didn’t find one at all. It was so sad to me; he was a domesticated duck, but I knew he needed to be around other ducks. So, I prayed and asked God to help me find a place that would be suitable for him. 

One evening I was visiting my daughter in Colorado Springs and I always travel with all my animals: two dachshunds, one Catahoula, and our Chico Suave. I stopped by my mom’s on the way out of town. A lady that lived in Peyton had two female ducks and she wanted to see Chico because he was squawking. She was looking for a male duck for her two female ducks So, I handed over his cage and his food bin and gave him kisses. I explained to Chico Suave he was going to a new home and I would miss him, but I wanted him to be around other ducks so he would be happy. His little eyes looked at me and he started squawking like he knew he was leaving me. My heart was beating fast, but I knew that was a sign from God that this was meant for Chico Suave. 

On my drive home, I cried happy and sad tears for the next two and a half hours. I mean an ugly cry! Then I prayed Chico was imagining me singing his song to him so his first night wouldn’t be so lonely and he would adjust quickly to his new surroundings. I sang the song to myself and hoped that Chico was thinking about the little song I put him to bed with every night for a year. 

I check on him from time to time and he looks happy. So that makes my heart sing; even though there isn’t a night that goes by that I don’t miss him and singing his crazy song. I love Chico Suave so much that he inspired me to write a series of Children’s books about his life.