Sunday, July 16, 2006

Conversations with Duck

There’s currently a duck sitting in my neighbor’s yard. My city is surrounded by lakes, so a duck isn’t a radically weird thing to see, but my little street is a couple of miles from either of these lakes and I’ve never seen a duck here before. He’s sitting in the grass, bobbing his head up and down, appropriately duck-like, and checking things out.

I’ve decided that the duck has arrived on our street as a result of one of three scenarios:

1) He just couldn’t take it anymore—all those water-loving lake-bound fowl, wet feet day in and day out, no hope of anything different. Might as well leave it all behind, feel the grass beneath your webs, see if it really is any better.

2) He took a wrong turn at a moment when everyone else went straight and found himself sitting in the grass in a spot he’d never even contemplated before and decided this was really the spot. Sun on your head, smell of freshly cut grass and baking pavement in your nostrils. It’s not what you’d planned, but it’s good. Might as well sit a while and ponder your luck.

3) He got pushed and jostled and generally misdirected in his already distracted travels (So many things to think about—girls, the sound of jet planes and how to judge if you’re about to get run down, that piece of bread that was probably a bit too far gone.) and now suddenly he’s not on his own lake anymore. He’s in a neighborhood where people mow the lawn instead of letting it grow long and the cars are going a bit too fast to make a break for it and so down he sits. Sooner or later, the answer will come. Until then, it’s best not to move too quickly for fear of knocking it right out of your tiny little head.

I don’t know which of these scenarios brought him here. But I’m looking at this duck on the grass in the middle of a residential street with no water and trying to say, telepathically, “I hear you, dude.” I hope he stays, because I suddenly feel like I have company.


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