It was the first time I’d been to Colleges since the flood. I’m glad it was after they’d started to clean up. It was strangely disorienting to be searching for landmarks that are no longer there. As I walked through the desolation, I thought of Fee’s words on how we are tied to places.
Birthday celebrations, homeschool park days, days just to explore the river.. the place is choked with memories for me. But what came closest to tearing me up was the ducks. Yes, the ducks! Those previously well fed and inclined to be haughty birds, who have led toddlers too close to the water, frightened my bird phobic friend, and eaten many a bluestocking crust, were hungry.
If ever a duck begged for food, these few sent a mute appeal that was undeniable, and I had nothing to feed them. How bad did I feel?! There is nothing like having something look to you for deliverance, and having to walk away. To make sure I left with my heart adequately wrenched, they proceeded to follow us up the hill as we walked back. It’s hard to say if the worse thing was to have them follow us, or when they finally gave up and turned back. Poor duckies!
Mr BB, not because he cares so much for ducks, but because I do, promised we could return next day with some bread. Oh, happy ducks!
Fingers were nibbled, at times, by ducks whose manners were set aside by hunger.
A loaf of bread vanished as fast as you can say “Who’s a hungry duck, then?”, and it was all over. We tipped the crumbs from the packet on to the road, and walked back to the car.
Friends, if you live near colleges, and wander down to the river, you will be met by desperate ducks. Don’t leave home without bread!