Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ducks are lucky…


Next to where I live, walking yesterday under zero and toward the NoWhere, lost in my thoughts, I met these unidentified ducks. To tell the truth, when I suddenly saw them in my way, my thoughts went to Alfred Hitchcock and his film "The Birds". Then, looking at how the ducks reacted to my presence completely duckly, that is peacefully and above all with absolute indifference, I started thinking that ducks are lucky; when they want to take a drink all they do is duck their bill. Doesn't matter if they spill. When they want to take a swim, all they do is dive right in; and they never seem to sink. Ducks are lucky, don't you think? After a bit, I realized that all I said about ducks is from a poem I had read some weeks ago (Mary Ann Hoberman, an American writer of children’s books, is the author). Realizing that I took other's verses for my own I felt a little bit like a foolish duck, with a bit of luck. 

Generally I like ducks. When I was a child my parents used ducks as a metaphor. "That's how good children should behave" they used to say " like little ducks do in the lake, always follow in blind obedience their parents". The presents I got from my parents as a child included all sorts of toy animals: bears, elephants, dogs, and even tigers imported from Maoist China. But ducks held a special place in my little menagerie of plastic animals, most of which were Made in Albania. (By the way, animal toys were the only thing that our socialist factories produced that looked anything like their counterparts in the capitalist West. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat promised us the New Man – totally different from the Old Man of the capitalist world - but animals would have remained unchanged and old as there were before). 

As a child I was also highly impressed by how big ducks’ eggs were (in comparison to chicken eggs they were XXL): in our house they were treated with reverence, like a very special thing, almost like a holy secret, almost like ostrich eggs. I never understood why.

I like the very word "duck" in English: it rhymes with words that sound something between jazz and rock: duck, buck, chuck, cluck, crick, guck, huck, luck, muck, pluck, puck, ruck, schmuck, shuck, struck, suck, truck, Truk, tuck, yech, yuck.
I don't like being a sitting duck, with no luck…

PS. I just received a message from an American friend who read my post, that reveals my huge ignorance about animals - at least animals in America. The nice creatures you see in the photo are not ducks but… Canada Geese. They are very unusual as a species because they are always in pairs and monogamous. This gives a totally new moral dimension to our meeting. But I will write about it another time. In any case, my thoughts on ducks, even if product of ignorance and illusion, remain unchanged. I now have to think about my relation to the Goose. It's an interesting word, by the way. Goose rhymes with some very special words to me: douce, juice, mousse, Seuss, truce, use and Zeus…

No comments: