On Writtle Pond
"Goose baby, you know what happens when you get yourself worked up like
Maverick preened, each feather fanning as she combed, sending a fine mist
across the bigger of the two islands. Their island.
was white, pure white, and proud of it. Her mother had been proud of it,
too. She often thought that the brown-grey speckles on Goose's head and neck
were the rough bits, the bad bits, straining to get out, to make their mark
on him – and on her, given half the chance.
"People's gonna stop bringin' the bread, honey." She didn't look
at him. Preening relaxed her when Goose got wound up. Preening always
little boy? You nearly had his fingers. As if the rain ain't enough –
get yourself skewered by a mad as hell umbrella-wielding daddy of a kiddy
digits, 'cause you snapped 'em off in a duck-induced rage. All that honkin'
Pure white, Mamma said, pure white. I ain't surprised we ain't got no…"
"Alright, alright, I tell you," Goose snapped. "You and the
honkin' gaggle. There's time enough for little ones, just as soon as we gets
the space and the honkin' privacy we's due on this here pond on this here
green. How is it, I ask you, that just when things is starting to settle
down, just when we can start to stretch our wings a little, Miss Al Orange
lands another duck. Big-breasted Al. Lands him right here, on this here
honkin' pond on this here honkin' green. You'da thought that harem of honkin'
Mallards was enough to satisfy that giant harlot, but no…"
P. Aromatic was white, too. The rain washed over him in the weak sunshine,
making him glint as he soared, up, over the post office. Suddenly, he
dropped altitude at what he considered to be an astonishing, heart stopping
rate, and braked sharply through
270 degrees to execute a near perfect two-point landing. Let the greenheads
top that, he thought. He stretched his neck, pointed his tangerine beak and,
in his eyes, powered majestically through the pond in the direction of the
Chris watched it panic, flap and lift away. Five – well, four greenheads
on the pond
today. Soon they would all stop coming. Al was his, they would see. He was
her, and they were becoming inseparable. Yes, she was bigger than him,
bigger than all of them, but he was duck enough. She didn't really love the
stupid greenheads, she just liked the attention. God, all that flapping.
Soon it would be just the two of them. Them and the bread – all the bread,
but for that crotchety Goose…