A Duck's Tale, not by Charles Dickens
Say Hello to my Introduction
that is, I believe, in a field by itself. It is 12:53 am, March 5. I have a full cup of black coffee and I should be like a lot of you sensible folk, in bed--but you see, the Poor Richard Almanac said, "early to bed and early to bed, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise." I would be extremely happy to be rich. Forget that healthy jazz. And as for wise, that is laughable, but not anywhere near what I want to talk about right now . . .A Duck's Tale. Pretty cute item, if I do say so.
Ducks are cute. And for the most part, that is all that ducks have going for them: cuteness. Babies are cute also, but you cannot bring a duck inside the house and let your wife rock it to sleep. I didn't say that this was an impossible quest. Just a bit strange.
But by and Large
and taking strange into consideration, I still say that ducks are cute. I like ducks and any web-footed bird--storks, geese, and if Daffy Duck was a real duck (what a paradox) I'd like him too, but since Daffy is a cartoon, I like Daffy. Never seen him swim as graceful as your everyday, garden variety duck, but that isn't his fault, but the fault of the animators at Warner Bros. Talk about a nasty trick--giving him a human voice, thinking, but no Michael Phelps grace of swimming.
What, if any, do Ducks do all day long? (This question is not hard). Ducks eat, sleep, swim, eat and swim. And during certain reproductive seasons, they fertilize eggs to keep their breed going strong. Go, Mallards! I did my part in supporting ducks. I would give a donation to the Save The Duck Foundation, but those goomers in Green Peace all love to hog the monies to save the whales. Sure, whales are humble, superb swimmers, but whales, bless their hearts, are not as cute as ducks. And we all know that between ducks and whales, you cannot bring a grown whale and drag him (or her) into your teenage girl's bedroom for a pet like you can a duck. Come on. Did you really think that you would score points with the EPA if you really harnessed a system of pulleys and conveyor belts that made it easy for your daughter's whale to be transported and then take up residence with your daughter would would be the envy of the block. "Hey, Sissy! Did ya' see 'Winky,' my new whale?" Your daughter would yell. Then "Sissy" who has no pets, would get jealous and walk home. But not your daughter, "Pansy." She's got a whale in her room. She can afford to be cocky.
And in theory, ducks have the inside track on which pet would be best, the duck or the whale? Ducks do not eat as much as you will have to feed "Winky," your new family member, the majestic Blue Whale, those in the waters near Alaska. But I have one simple question for you, the father of your daughter's whale: Are you going to rig your in-ground swimming pool to invest big bucks in Chlorine to keep the waters clean, and reinforce the gigantic pool with 2x10 pine lumber. I hope that your brother owes you a favor and will help you build "Winky's" new home. A carpenter on the street will take your shirt off.
One more thing. You and your daughter are outside watching your brother, "Jim," hammering and cutting those pieces of heavy lumber and with each nail that "Jim" nails, the resentment is now boiling inside of you. You glare at "Jim" for although he gave you a great deal, the cost wasn't that cheap compared to Carpenters on The Street or Richard Carpenter for that matter. And you are secretly glaring at your daughter, "Pansy," for loving "Winky" as good as if you bought her a Tea Cup Chihuahua. I confess. I only used Chihuahua to just show you that I could still spell this cute animal. Now look. D--U--C--K. I can still spell with the best of 'em.
Now comes "Pansy" who goes back in the house to watch Animal Planet and she is in luck. This week is Duck Week and the network is going to share all of the major duck breeds in our hemisphere. What luck. Before long, her goes out to this Canadian Mallard for having the cutest colors--that match the color money and you just watch. In a minute or two, "Pansy" will have another pet, but only inside in her bedroom. Sorry, "Winky." We will all come out every day and talk to you.
Now that you have been caught off-guard with how much "Pansy" wants a Canadian Mallard to have for a bedroom pet. You are halfway torn between donating "Winky" to Sea World, but "Pansy" fills you in on some serious whale controversies going on that iconic place. So you are now heading downtown (with "Pansy") to "Peter's Pet Store," "Not All of us Bite!" What a cute slogan. When you arrive, it shouldn't take that long for your daughter, now 15, to have two pets. All of your worrying is going to be in vain. Wait and see.
You and "Pansy" are walking down each aisle of the pet store (I am not going to plug 'Peter's Pet Store' again.) in order to find a Canadian Mallard . . .and just as soon as you are ready to tell "Pansy" it's time to head home, she squeals with the velocity of a SR-71 Blackbird, able to shatter windows 22 miles away. "Pansy" scored the last Canadian Mallard. She is now petting the duck while "Peter" is rubbing his hands together (the gesture people make who are about come into a lot of cash).
"Hi, "Peter." Nice duck, give ya' $20.00!" you say quickly because you are a Wall Street Stocks Negotiator. You have the gift of a fast tongue.
"Peter" snickers. Winks and replies, "$54.00 and that is shipping, licensing, and Livestock tax, and I am taking a beating on this duck. I am losing a good $10.00," he says not making eye contact with you. And you were slick in not busting him for his Jamacian accent.
By now "Pansy" is tugging on your pants. "Dad-eeee, pleeese!" she begs. It's just a matter of time. "Peter" knows it too. You, my friend, are like a hungry bass nibbling at some jig that Bill Dance sells on TV and Walmart.
"24.00! Lowest I have before I walk and I pay the shipping and other stuff," you say looking intense in "Peter's" eyes. This is like a Mexican Show Down. "Pansy" is sobbing but not to where you hear it.
"Deal!" "Peter" says. "Oh, I think that you have a lovely daughter," "Peter" compliments "Pansy" while he is getting the paperwork, vitamins and other Duck Stuff that accompanies a duck when someone in a pet store buys one for the home.
"She's 15, Bud-eeee," you growl. "Peter" cowers and "Pansy" is now angry at you for embarrassing him. Oh, on the way home, she will tell you how cold you are; how heartless you are and why you never do anything she wants.
To distract "Pansy's" tirade on how shiftless you are, you say, "what about names for your duck?" That did the trick. She is not mad right now, but thinking of names to give her duck that she can be proud of. And the center of your neighborhood talk.
"You help me, daddy, pleeezzze?" "Pansy pleads stroking the duck's bill (or is it beak?)
"Okay . . .there's Don, Donald, Dilbert, Charlie, Jack, Jim, no! He's my Judas-of-a-brother, Sassie, Sally, and Ding Dong, the Duck,"Pansy," upon hearing these names that you just said--she is crying again and beating you in the shoulders and spine. But you are immune to her beatings. She has beat you a lot. Have you ever given any thought about that? And her having an outside whale, "Winky,"and now a Canadian Mallard if she lands on a land for him.
"Okay. Dilbert. I like that one," "Pansy" says with a smile that would shine all over Dayton, OH.
"Oh, 'Pansy," 'Dilbert's' a nice name for your duck. Good choice," you say patting her head.
"Not for the duck, Y--O--U!" "Pansy" barks in a very smarty aleck tone.
"Me? Dilbert? Why?" you shouldn't have asked.
"I'm calling you 'Dilbert Daddy,' because you didn't argue with your brother when he started building "Winky's" home in the swimming pool and you know that at night, he will be lonely," "Pansy" explains, and very sensible this time. She is learning.
"Well, 'Pansy," guess I'll just have to sleep out there with 'Winky' to keep him from being lonely and your duck, whatever his name is, can sleep in your bedroom," you reply.
"Okay, but 'Dilbert Daddy,' out there, I won't be there to yell things at you and make you go places you hate and things like that," "Pansy"says.
"R-I-G-H-T!" you reply very cool and laid-back. Sometimes, even dads like you can get ahead of some 15-year-old spoiled brat with a cool reply like that.
And what about "Winky?" I ask.
"What about him?" you reply and I know the best part: although "Pansy" and her Canadian Mallard are now cuddled in bed and snuggling like those paintings that Norman Rockwell painted for the Saturday Night Post.
And "Winky" (wait for it), is having ONE WHALE of a time in your backyard.
© 2018 Kenneth Avery