>> Tuesday, August 18, 2009
It started out innocently enough. I was sitting on the porch at the lodge minding my own business when they came. I couldn't stop them no matter how hard I tried. They just kept coming and coming.I tried to scare them away with my colorful toenail polish. I crossed my legs in an effort to look confident and stern. Then I tried to have a serious talk with them about why I really shouldn't be feeding ducks. I held my hands out wide and exasperated. "In most places, it's against the rules to feed the wildlife you know. " They just wouldn't listen. No matter how hard I tried, these ducks were determined birds. Yes they were.
Finally, in an effort to justify what I was doing, I called over the king duck. "King," I said, "If you please, call up the Rule Makers and tell them it's okay for me to feed the birds in your duckdom. I really don't want to get in trouble, you know. I have two days left here before I go home."
King Duck didn't blink an eye. "It will cost you," he said matter of factly. "Hand over the goods."
Never in my entire life has a duck told me to "hand over the goods" but the king duck meant business so I did as he said. I reached out and gave him the last of my breakfast bagel, which he took without so much as a thank you. In fact, he snapped me with his bill just to let me know who was in charge.
Then he asked for one more thing. "There's one duck in duckdom," he said, "That has a hurt foot. What do you think you could do for him?"
"Normally my friends and I try to rescue hurt animals," I told King Duck. "But your duck seems to be fairing okay. Let me call my son, Ryan, the fish and wildlife expert," I said.
Ryan (being much more reasonable than me) said, "Let nature do what it will...don't bring the duck home with you."
Ryan said that because I've done it before. It wasn't all that long ago that I forgot to tell my family there was an injured duck in our backyard that I had picked up from the side of the road to take to a wildlife center. It only created a little excitement.
But back to the story. King Duck watched me hang up the phone. "What'd he say?" the king asked.
I gave King Duck the low down. "Your son knows all about birds and what they do, right?" sneered the king.
By now I was feeling pretty fed up with this duck. He was pushing the limits with me. "Attacking my family won't get you far," I told the king. "Besides that, my son knows about more than just birds, I can promise you that."
"Quackidy quack," said the king. "Prove it!"
So I did. I reached in my pocket and pulled out a photo that my son sent me. By now I was bursting with pride. "See this!" I said as I shoved the photo in King Duck's face.
Ryan knows all about the birds
"You have taught your son the ways of the world," said King Duck. "For that, I am happy. Enjoy the rest of your stay at Cherry Valley Lodge."
So I did as the king said. I enjoyed the rest of my weekend (even though I missed my dogs terribly). Then I made my way home... after a little shopping and lunch.
King Duck said he'd check in with me now and then to make sure I'm not messing up anything in the animal kingdom. I do believe he will, don't you?
A special thank you to Ryan who really did take the photo of the mound of bees on a tree at his park and also tell me not to put another duck in my car.