Don't Name the Ducks and Other Truths About Life in the Country


210 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-894856-28-7
DDC 971.23'3





Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



She calls it the handmade life. Wendy Dudley moved to the foothills of
Alberta, not to farm or to operate a ranch, but to continue her career
as a writer while living in the country. Her 80-year-old mother, a
horse, a donkey, mules, dogs, cats, and ducks were invited to share the

Her message is clear: cherish the land and try to live in harmony with
nature, whether it takes the form of a chickadee at the bird feeder or a
black bear clawing at the windowsill.

Dudley shares her experiences of putting up fences, deep snow, vigorous
weeds, wildlife, caring for her animals, the loss of pets to wild
predators, and small-town social life. It’s a “story about coming
home to what matters.” Curiously, she also shares her obsession with
celebrities, a discordant element with a high who-cares rating.

The style is smooth, with good pacing and lots of visual detail. Her
concern for her animals is evident, as is her respect for their
individual personalities. She looks for humour in every situation and
does an excellent job of keeping setbacks in perspective.

An enjoyable, gentle ramble through an example of an interesting
lifestyle choice.


Dudley, Wendy., “Don't Name the Ducks and Other Truths About Life in the Country,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,