If there is a duck purgatory for humans I think I’ve earned it. Let me digress. On very cold days I sometimes set out a tray of scraps near the Lake Gaston waterline for an old, one-legged duck I’ve nicknamed “Monopod”. As a rule, I don’t believe in feeding wild animals, but Monopod is different and I don’t mind this special kind of care-giving every once in a while.
On this particular morning, the temperature sat around 20 degrees, and way off in the distance, there came Monopod paddling in awkward half-spirals across the cove, heading for my dock in a round about way. Since a duck with one leg is not an accomplished helmsman, I had several minutes to get a care package ready. So I dumped a few scraps from the fridge hastily into a bowl, placed it on the shoreline near the water where Monopod could reach it, and retreated to my kitchen to putter. At some point, I opened my trash receptacle and — by golly — there it was: a well-picked, leftover duck carcass from a previous night’s meal!
I ran to the window, but it was too late. Monopod was propped comfortably next to the bowl of leftover goodies, gobbling up those roasted duck-scraps in a kind of feeding frenzy often seen on television when a Great White shark is tearing apart a half-side of beef: not the time to inform him he was shoveling down bits and pieces of orange marmalade-glazed kinfolk.
Some things are better left unsaid, I know. But if there is a duck purgatory for humans, I deserve to be in it.