Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

martes, marzo 15, 2011

El Pato Ha Vuelto!

(reprinted from 4/12/07, with update)

Many years ago in early April I bought four mallard ducklings at Blue Seal Seed and Feed in Chatham. They were tiny, and like most poultry in this county, they had been mailed with their siblings to the feed store when they were one day old. They lived in a crate and swam on the pond. One survived the nightly predators to full maturity. And because we wouldn't clip his wings, when Fall finally arrived, nature's plan took over. He flapped his wings, circled the pond, quacked a few times, and flew away toward the South. His name was "Tricky Duck." And he was a traveler.

Remarkably, he came back every Spring. He brought his mate with him. And then his children-- I imagine they were his children-- returned each Spring with their mates. And then his grandchildren. And their mates. For almost twenty years.

This Spring has not really arrived yet. Winter persists. There is still snow cover. The pond remains mostly frozen.

This morning was cold. Last night the temperature was in the upper 20's F. There are no peepers yet. Maple sugaring continues. But there was a surprise. I heard him quacking in the early morning light. Tricky Dick's unmistakeable quack. Quacking to the dog to stay away. Quacking to the sky spirits. Quacking aloud. Quacking for joy. The duck has returned. And he's brought with him his mate. And what seem to be a few of his children. When I go to the car, they move to the far side of the pond. The young ones fly off. But Tricky Duck and his mate just swim around in the shallows.

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