Every year, Gail the preschool teacher would get a clutch of duck eggs from a local poultry farmer so the class could hatch them and science-type stuff. Then, one year, one of the ducklings was born wrong. It was undersized and it’s right leg was bent under it in such a way that it was unable to walk. Almost immediately, the other ducklings began trying to peck it to death.
Gail was horrified. After rescuing the poor thing, she made a frantic call to the farmer. “What should I do?” She asked.
“Kill it,” he told her. When a duck is born deformed the others will always peck it to death and he founded it a greater mercy to snap its neck.
Gail looked at the defenseless bird nestled in her hand and knew she could never do it. Instead, she made him a tiny split out of duct tape and placed him in his own private pen. None of the murderous hatch-mates got names, but she called him Duckers. When the other ducks went back to the duck farm (and from there to someone’s plate), Duckers stayed.
Four years on, Duckers’ limp is nearly undetectable as he waddles around the house in his little ducky diapers. He’s grown into a large, beautiful bird with an unfortunate tendency to chase peoples’ toes. He sleeps at the foot of Gail’s bed and when she goes out he sits, quietly by the door, and waits for her return.
About the Author: Rikki lives in New York state with her two kittens. She enjoys knitting complexly patterned blankets and fencing.
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