With two sons you must’ve known the mischief they would make. The daring deeds they would seek to accomplish. The stitches they would need.
With four brothers there was never an end to the shenanigans in sight for my poor parents. And Jim, the youngest, the cutest, always seemed to get away with the most. Take, for instance, the day he brought home a baby white duck.
Dad peered into the box and looked at Jim. Where’d you get him? It was more of an accusation and not so much of a question.
Wanna try that again?
Found him by the road.
And why would Dad leave it at that? Was it because the duck was so fluffy, innocent and harmless looking? And what if I’d brought a wandering pony home, would he’ve let me keep it? Dang, wished I tried…
Our clan were poor namers. Sorry, just saying. For proof, one need only know we named our dog Whiskers because he had long whiskers and our guinea pig Wheet-Wheet because it said, well, wheet-wheet. Thus Quacker-duck was named and it stuck.
Quacker soon grew out of his small cardboard box and began roaming the yard. A beautiful thing he was with his long neck and yellow feet. And white. Pure, snow white. He was also a duck of perpetual motion. He’d tilt his head when the phone rang and wiggle his hind-end. That was my favorite part – the way he’d shake that tail…
Now, you would think we’d know better. He was a duck. So why were we surprised when the little girl next door screamed in fright, “Mommy, mommy, there’s a duck in my pool!”
Quacker loved our ’69 Chevy Impala. More to the point, he loved his reflection in the shiny chrome wheels. Thought it was another duck and just look how splendid a specimen… Took at least two of us to help mom to leave the yard with that car. She’d get in and Jim and I would chase him round and round – he simply wasn’t going to let that beauty go. He’d wait by the end of the driveway and always seemed to know when she was coming home.
With winter coming, we knew we couldn’t keep him. Didn’t have a place for him to stay warm and so Clarence, who had chickens agreed to adopt our duck. Our magnificent stallion duck could stand watch over his “ladies.”
Don’t know how long Quacker lived. Not sure if it was one winter or two. Whatever it was, Clarence delivered the bad news one day. Said there was feathers scattered throughout his yard and Quacker-duck was dead.
There aren’t any pictures of Quacker, but I do have one of the scamp that brought him home. Perhaps he would’ve been just a bit older than in this photo, but looking at all that innocence, I can now understand how helpless my mom and dad were against his charm.
So Jim, where’d you get him? I asked today.
Um, there were three ducks and I refuse to say as it may incriminate me.
A grown man and he still can’t confess.
Come on, spill it.
Let’s just say they were floating on a pond off Stonybrook Road.
Wait, I interrupted, there were three? I only remember one.
Well, the Clough boys took two, but their mom and dad made them bring them back.
I had to laugh. Perhaps I should take a page from his book and go find me a wandering pony.
Then again, I’m just not that cute.