by george greenville butler

Once upon a time, about two weeks ago, lived a duck on a lake close to town. This duck's name was Duckie. Duckie spent most of his days paddling around diving for food. Those days were beautiful close to nature surviving in the wild along the banks of the lake, with sunlight streaming through the trees. It seemed of Duckie to be truly a paradise. On the other side of the lake walking along a path was a man named Joe. Joe was down on his luck, for all the safety nets had fallen out from under him.

One day he had been a useful member of society but within a short period of time he found himself on drugs and drunk all the time. Soon after that, all his friends turned against him. He realized now that they didn't give a damn about society at all. Everybody always wanted something. Joe's days now were spent bumming around trying to get back on his feet but everytime he had something good going something always happened to ruin everything.

One day Duckie was paddling along the bank and saw another duck quacking at a man on the bank, before Duckie knew it the man had thrown some bread into the water and the duck quickly devoured it. What a brilliant idea Duckie thought for as a duckling Duckie had caught on quickly in foraging for food, now he saw immediately how good a deal this was. From that day on Duckie quacked at everyone along the bank for food and prided himself on how smart he was. In time he grew fat and couldn't keep up with the other ducks who he considered to be stupid for not bumming for food. Over a period of time he grew steadily more and more indolent and lazy only bumming for food when he became real hungry, but his bumming wasn't working the same as before. Maybe he scared some people when he was too aggressive. Duckie's feathers had begun to fall out and one time he nearly bit off the finger of a little girl. Duckie had not meant to do that but that didn't stop the little girl's father from throwing a big rock at Duckie with strong indications of angry and hate.

Meanwhile Joe on the other side of the lake was having his problems too. These so called social agencies were hypocrites, for what the home-less needed were homes not some stinking cot in an old warehouse. Several weeks later Joe found himself sitting on the bank of the lake trying to resolve these issues within his own mind. He had not a cent in his pocket, no food and earlier he had sold his watch for a bottle of wine but before he could drink it he had broken the bottle. While Joe was sitting there Duckie paddled up and started quacking for food. Joe threw some rocks at Duckie but Duckie was hungry and bit Joe's finger, that startled Joe and he fell to his knees crying, Duckie just looked at Joe in wonderment then very deliberately perhaps instinctually with Joe watching Duckie waddled to the lake and paddled back into nature, Joe raised himself up off his knees and walked away from the lake back into society.

The End

1988 George Butler