Insert Grace Here…

…finding grace to help in the time of need…

Please Don’t Feed The Ducks!

My fabulous friend, Diana, and I were talking the other day about life being so hectic and the wonderful fall season passing us by.  So we decided to be spontaneous and visit a pond by a local hospital, have a picnic with Sophie and possibly feed the ducks.  It was supposed to rain and we weren’t supposed to feed the ducks, but that didn’t deter us.  We were desperate for some adventure.

The rain held off, but the temperature dropped a bit.  We grabbed a couple of blankets and quickly decided on McDonald’s for lunch.  The ducks were clearly thrilled by our arrival.  The sound of bumbling humans unloading their vehicle was obviously welcoming to them.  In a nanny-second they flocked around us quacking loudly.  Before retrieving Sophie from her car seat, we pondered our course of action.  Our original plan to eat our divine choice of food no longer seemed feasible.  We would settle for a pair of benches near a tree.

“Please Don’t Feed The Ducks” and “Enter At Your Own Risk” jumped off the sign in front of us.  I glanced at the pack of crackers in the car.  Throwing caution to the wind, I snatched them up along with our blankets and lunch, and loaded Sophie in her stroller while Diana shooed the ducks.

Feed Us!

Feed Us!

We managed down several steps and safely past the ducks to the cold concrete benches.  We hadn’t considered that waterfront temperatures were cooler.  We sat huddled together under our picnic blankets trying to engage in a little girl talk.  Duck poop surrounded us.  There was no safe place for our feet.  A few ducks stayed close by quacking in expectation as they eyed our food.  I desperately tried to ignore the poop, but still found it difficult to resist gagging.  My difficulty was compounded when Sophie began spitting out her half-chewed hamburger.  What kind of mom orders a hamburger Happy Meal WITH the onions?  The cold surroundings (literally) along with visions of attacking ducks replaced the delusions of grandeur that deceived our minds and emotions and lead us on this rendezvous.  But we were not willing to surrender—at least not the part of our plan that openly defied the rules that were spelled out so plainly before us.

We gathered our belongings, pushed Sophie towards the open grass and tore open the crackers.  The sound of crackling plastic was more than enough to entice the massive number of ducks at that pond.  Quacks grew louder and louder as they waddled in from several directions.  Anxiety tried to grip me, but I remained calm.  I passed some crackers to Diana instructing her like a teacher would a student to first crush the crackers so they would go further.  As I began crushing and throwing, Diana eyed a cracker like a kid with candy and asked, “are these WHEAT crackers?”  Yes, yes they were.  And so she found out when she nibbled one. 

Sophie tried to throw a cracker but it didn’t go very far.  As the ducks closed in on her stroller, I suddenly recalled my mother-in-law being pecked on the cheek by a duck near the pond behind her house.  A painful peck, mind you.  The realization that there were far more ducks than crackers urged us to move towards our entrance as we fed the wild birds.  I’m still in awe of Diana’s awareness of ANYTHING other than our fiasco.  “LOOK, a pigeon.”  As we neared the steps leading to our getaway, the ducks—led by a large white bully duck—surrounded us.  I panicked.  I threw the pack of leftover crackers—plastic included—screamed, “SHOOOOOO,” and ran.

While Diana stood behind me in a fit of laughter, I shielded myself with Sophie’s stroller.  Only…Sophie was still IN the stroller.  “SHOO, SHOO, SHOO ducks!  Get out of here!  We don’t have any more crackers.  We should’ve NEVER fed you!” 

In the midst of my fit I noticed two vehicles—occupied.

“THIS is why we’re not supposed to feed the ducks,” was all the wit I could muster.  My only response was a slight nod.  The lack of emotional show from our audience was clear indication that they had come for solace.  Something told me that they’d witnessed this episode before.

I pulled the stroller up on its back wheels.  I ‘had’ to protect my child.  “I’M SKEERED!  I’M SKEERED!” 

“Help me get her up the stairs, Diana.”   Sophie leaned towards Diana as I lifted the stroller.  “Just get her, I’ll get the stroller.”  What a team we made!

In between giggles, I continued to holler obscenities at the ducks.  “You DO know they don’t understand you,” Diana teased. 

I thought I was home free once Sophie and Diana were loaded.  Just as I finished unpacking the stroller, I heard them.  Several ducks led by “the bully duck” followed me.  STALKERS!  I wanted to toss that stroller in the back of my SUV and jump in the driver’s seat, but it was the only thing shielding me from their rage.  “SHOO!  GO!  AWAY!  DUCKS!”  They began waddling towards the road.

This opportunity wasn’t passing me by.  Once I was safe in my car, I let out a sigh.  But I couldn’t help wondering as I backed out if those ducks were gonna’ meet their doom. 

Then it happened.  Was that a bump?  “We cooked his goose,” Diana shouted in victory.

Not really.  She did say that.  But the ducks were unscathed.  Would’ve been an interesting ending, now wouldn’t it?

Well, hopefully our little adventure “quacked you up”.  It left me tired.  So, I’m off to unwind from our “wild goose chase”.  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself…

If that wasn’t vivid enough, here’s a pic of the vicious beasts that tormented us—via my cellphone.  Much, much scarier in reality!  Really.

Duck, Duck, Goose

Duck, Duck, Goose

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4 Comments»

  Big Mama wrote @

Yes, I too have been tormented by those
same ducks. Biranna, Granny and I some years ago had the same experience!
Go figure why do they have that sign up there!!!

So the ducks can get the last laugh????

  Enjoyer of the Journey wrote @

This is why they stopped letting me feed the ducks at Ft. Leavenworth’s duck pond. That and the Colonel’s wife was mad b/c she stepped in duck poop…*gag*

Great story!

jenifriend

  Ginger wrote @

This is the best! Haaaaaaaaaaaaa! You now have to share Chick a Doo… you know the rest.

  Rachel wrote @

LOL that’s funny!


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