Charles Prier
Writer - Insomniac - General, Know-it-All

 

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The Duck That Thought He Was a Dog

Back in the early 1970’s our kids were small and we lived in Tennessee. Each year around Easter a local establishment offered baby chicks and ducklings in various artificial colors for sale. These cute critters were sold for the amusement of the youngsters whether or not they had the means or aptitude to take care of them. I believe this practice has since been abandoned.

Often these pets would die before the Easter eggs were all gone. Henry, our Easter duckling, didn’t. In fact, he thrived in our unfenced backyard and by summer was a full grown, swanlike duck. Henry had no role models except for the miniature (and ugly) bulldogs that lived in the fenced yard next door. Henry believed he was a dog. He imitated their mannerisms, from trying to growl and bark to running to us when we went outside.

By early fall Henry’s welfare had become a constant concern and his increasingly competent canine impersonations were becoming a little embarrassing. After a somber family meeting we decided to take Henry to a nearby lake that was inhabited by other ducks. Henry was curious but his uncharacteristic quack frightened the other ducks. For his own good, as soon as he was slightly distracted we made a beeline for the car. I’ll never forget the sad but amusing sight of Henry in my rearview mirror, running behind our car barking as we sped away.

Here’s to you Henry (or Henrietta) you are a pleasant memory that will live here for a long, long time.–CP