Other Wind
26 / January26 / January26 / January

Duck Land

“Quack Morning. We’ll be out of your way shortly.”

We drive past the duck pond in our neighborhood every weekday morning. Sometimes we see a heron in the water, still and tall. We see geese often. But the ducks are always there. Some swim. Some sit on the ground. Some wander into yards, searching for adventure, for exotic water. After a rain, the whole group waddles to the vacant lot across the road to sit in mud puddles that form there. Those puddles must be nice vacation spots, different from a normal day in the pond.

Many mornings we have to stop for ducks crossing the road. They don’t hurry for us. Most of the time they stop waddling for a few seconds, like they’ve been disturbed and have to catch their wits again before they continue. Sometimes we pass (with difficulty) a duck lounging on the pavement, as if the asphalt is just as suitable a resting place as the water.

The ducks have claimed the land that borders the pond, and when we cross that land, we enter their territory. If we want to stay a while, we bring gifts in the form of corn kernels or breadcrumbs. They are eager hosts as long as we have food. If we don’t, they just ignore us.

We’ll see them tomorrow on the way in to work. They make for a good morning.

During the last freeze, I saw ducks sliding their little webbed feet around on the ice as I drove by the pond. I just thought they were being silly. But, as I drove by the pond again a while later, they had managed to melt a perimeter of ice where they were standing and were now in the water. Now I wonder why they have enough sense to pull that off but can't learn to stay off the road when cars are coming.

Posted by: Daser on January 26, 2003 09:58 PM

More of the same

Posted by: Murray Salter on September 25, 2003 11:18 PM