On the Subject of Ducklings

(I cannot vouch for the truthiness of this story…but it comes from a credible source 🙂 )

My grandfather was a geologist. He was sent out mapping all over the country, and dragged the family with him. From what I hear they had some major adventures–lots of camping for weeks without running water, and lots of moving around.

One day they were some place with a county fair. Most places have county fairs, actually, so this could very well be anywhere. County fairs were a very important social activity back in those days when people didn’t have a Wii to keep them locked up at home.

For whatever reason my grandfather took a job dressing up as a Native American at the county fair (???). I’m not really clear on how or why, but apparently he made a pretty ridiculous Native American as he was fair haired and absolutely coated in freckles. (I guess they didn’t have any better options?)

At the fair, there was a fellow there operating that game where you toss a coin into a sea of bowls. If you get one in, you win a prize. I’ve only ever seen goldfish for prizes, but on this occasion they were ducklings.

The fellow operating the game noticed that if my grandfather (ridiculously dressed as a Native American) hung around near the game, more people would come play it. He offered my grandfather ducklings in exchange for having him hang around the game when he could.

My grandfather earned a total of three ducklings. My mom, being the oldest, was given two. Her little sister–six years younger–was given just one to care for. Apparently it is very easy to “assign” ducklings to new moms; stick them all in a room and it just happens. This answers one of the questions I raised in my duckling documentary fantasy.

Apparently, though, ducklings will poop anywhere. Also, they will poop anytime. These facts will definitely impact how the duckling documentary will go. Zach will eventually realize he should just coat the floor of his apartment in newspaper. Those scenes where Zach and the ducklings go to the bank and the grocery store will be legendary. And I bet Zach could get them on a plane in a carrier.

The story of my foremothers’ and the ducklings ends rather sadly. Their ducklings followed them to and from, and they grew to be great friends with each one. One day my aunt put hers on a swing; a heartbreakingly fatal error. But, as the duckling documentary also relates, though the friendship of a human and their duckling may be brief, the lesson of love stays with us.

Questions? Comment? Cigars? Cigarettes?

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