Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Duck Buddy

Last year I wrote about some ducks who decided to stick around and winter in Las Vegas. The February 5th and 15th 2009 House of H2o postings resulted in some helpful emails advising how best to feed waterfoul. I had been tossing out crackers and stuff (single guys who eat out often often have odd and useless items in the cupboard and it turns out that store bread is really junk food for ducks). Thanks to the emails, I stocked- up on cracked corn and soon I was the most popular guy in duck world. Really. They told their friends who told their friends and within days I was feeling like St. Francis. Well, spring came and the ducks moved on.

I am working on a new novel and in it, one of the characters has the ability to hear the thoughts of people and also animals. He is an interesting guy and I am starting to really like him. So about an hour ago I decided to take a break and went out back for some fresh air. It's a beautiful desert night, calm and clear. As I circled the pool I heard, "Hey, Will. It's me, your Duck Buddy. Got anything to eat?" Okay, it may have been more like regular duck sounds but I recognized that quack and knew what he meant, and what he means to me. I turned to see the most confidant bird moving straight for me, his cool looking feet slapping along the cool deck.

"Hey, man, how are you, and where's your partner?" I knew he had a mate. Not sure if it was a chick or a dude and I'm a 'duck ask, duck tail' kinda guy. "You look great. Stand- by while I go get you a snack." I run inside and root around in the kitchen. I knew I was out of cracked corn (and I don't care), but there must be something. At last, I found Organic Flourless Sprouted 7-Grain Bread. God bless Trader Joe's.

By the time I returned to the pool there were three ducks, my main guy-front and center- and two rather shy birds behind him. I sat down, tore and tossed them dinner, talking to them all the while. Now my buddy came up real close, within a foot of me. I like that, the feeling of trust between us. The others stayed back and that's fine, too.

I gave them small pieces and waited while they took breaks and drank from the fountain. Ducks need to wash their food down with water and by feeding them slowly and speaking calmly, we didn't have to rush.

I told my buddy what I was working on, how I'd been and how happy I was to see him. Twenty beautiful minutes on a Sunday evening poolside under the desert sky.

I love animals. If you'll listen, they can teach you so much about yourself.

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My profile is considered: "HIGH" 40-ish, 6 foot-ish, slim-ish, trim-ish straight-ish, late-ish, creative-ish... I am an unashamed HETRO* *Heterochromatic(one green eye, one hazel-ish).