Home > Health, Humor, Learning, Parenting, Photos > Three little ducklings and one badass duck

Three little ducklings and one badass duck

I am invincible.

I am invulnerable.

I can do 482 things at once, as long as one those things is not breathing.

I used to think I was tethered to my computer while working on important projects, which is to say, every single one of my projects. I’d tell myself with increasing agitation, “Just this one more sentence/document/email/calculation and I can walk away. That’s all. I am in charge!”

Not so much, it turns out. Not being able to walk away is the surest sign of not being in control. (Come to think of it, this probably means my son is right when he tells me he’s the boss.)

“Frantic” and “harried” are foes of productivity, not indications of it. I could bore you with the details of this personal discovery, but that would be beside the point.

The point is duckies.

If I find myself gnawing on my lip, leg bouncing while I switch between 38 virtual windows, I take that as a sign I need a reset. I step away from my computer and amble toward a nearby duck pond.

I’m no stranger to ducks. I am an Oregon Duck, after all; we weren’t so named for an abundant population of snow leopards. While ducks might not be exotic to me, it’s calming. Ducks don’t care about spreadsheets or presentations. They want breadcrumbs and naps in the sun. If they do show any sign of caring, it’s because they have ducklings in their care.

A month ago, I noticed a mama duck walking with her ducklings. Seeing me seeing them, she ruffled her tail feathers in warning.

I was terrified.

I was terrified. It was like something out of a horror novel.

A few days later, our paths crossed again. Once more, I reassured Mama Duck in English I’m sure she understood that I meant her babies no harm.

Her menacing tail feathers warded me off, but not before I’d snapped another picture.

BEWARE MAH FEATHERS. But seriously, their bites hurt. Just ask my sister.

BEWARE MAH FEATHERS. But seriously now, their bites hurt. Just ask my sister.

Weeks passed without a picture when, yesterday, I found my perfect little ducks all in a row. Their mama was standing a little bit back, letting her babies see they could survive without her while simultaneously cautioning me with a reproachful gaze. (She speaks English; I speak Duck Body Language. Definite reproach.)

As I finished my walk around the pond, I thought about the ducklings. I’ll miss them when they’re gone, testing out their wings and new environs. But I’ll be glad I met them, and cheered by memory of their mom’s protective posturing. Nobody better try telling her size matters!

Most of all, those ducklings will remind me how important it is to get up and walk it out once in a while. I perform better when smiling, after all, and it’s mighty hard not to smile while thinking of my three sleepy ducklings all in a row.

Mama duck, you sure did good.

Mama Duck, you sure did good.

  1. July 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Wow, that is a scary scowl. I appreciate the end of your story and positive spin, that the mama did good. I imagine I had (or should have had) a similar reproachful look if a stranger got in the way of me and my babes!

  2. July 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Oh yes, good strategy to talk a walk with the ducks. I bet they know that activity does not always equate with productivity.

  3. July 12, 2013 at 4:11 am

    You slay me with giggles! You remind me not to bite my lip today but instead go do something more important!

    Gad, I love you for that.

  4. July 12, 2013 at 5:06 am

    You make nature fun, Deborah. Good work!

  5. July 12, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I once saw a mama duck attack a crow twice her size when it had picked up one of her babies. It dropped the baby and flew away.

  6. July 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Walking really works for me. It’s when I work out all my problems. And get to be outside with the ducks and the birds. The world is better out there.

  7. July 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Deb- hope this finds you well! I have an award waiting for you on my blog
    hope you have some fun and discover some new blogs to visit!

  8. July 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I love this. 🙂 You made me laugh and have deep thoughts about the importance of moments in life. Duck moments, I have decided, are rather important and could be construed as teachable moments. Fear the duck feathers… hehehee

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