Friday, February 26, 2010

Just Ducky

We headed across the river to feed the ducks this afternoon.

I have happy childhood memories of my Dad taking us to a pond we called "Swanny Lake." We'd look at the cattails and throw bread to the birds.

Now it may be that my memory is a little hazy or that swans are nicer than ducks. Whatever the case, our afternoon was different from what I imagined.

I hadn't even unloaded the van when the ducks were after us. Aggressive? Just plain scary is more like it. One pushy foul ripped an entire piece of bread right out of John's hand. While Kolbe and I fended them off and threw the bread far from us, John - for reasons I can't imagine - threw his favorite car, the powerful Mach 5, deep into the lake. I found a big stick and attempted to retrieve it while perched on a steep embankment. Meanwhile John was dodging the still-hungry birds, and Kolbe was running around bellowing "Aflac! Aflac!"

Mach 5 retrieved, we headed for another part of the lake, free of the ducks. It was sunny but cold with a stiff breeze cutting across the pond. John was content throwing stones and sticks and stomping in puddles. I turned my head for a minute and then heard an enormous splash.

John had belly-flopped into the pond.

Now the pond is only about four inches deep, so the only danger was of hypothermia. I tossed John in the stroller as red clay poured off of him.

"I did it on purpose, Mama," he confessed. "On purpose!"

His confession was followed shortly by a plaintive wail, "I cold, Mama! I cold!"

Home again, home again for a quick bath, dry clothes, and maybe a stiff drink?

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