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Daffy and van


    One day, many years ago when I was but a youth of 60, I experienced a period of loneliness and depression. It's a strange oddity that those who are depressed and lonely do not seek others to be with in their loneliness. Instead they needs have others come to them and try to prove that they are not as unworthy of human association as they feel they are.

    One day I was in my little trailer parked behind the family abode when I heard a strange sound at my door. When I checked to see what the noise might be, I found, at the foot of the short stairs leading to the door a large and very odd looking duck. A duck at one's door is a strange thing to come up upon. But what is stranger yet is the duck had in its beak a set of keys to my trailer I had lost many weeks before. The duck dropped the keys at the foot of the stairs, and then disappeared I know not where.



Daffy and rejected house


    The next day as I ventured out of my trailer of solitude I discovered again this duck at the foot of my feet. The duck had slept (as I assume ducks sleep during the night) on the peak of the family abode afore mentioned. As I emerged from my trailer, the duck flew from its perch and took its place at the foot of my feet, which happen to be at the foot of my legs.

    As I went about my business, doing the valueless tasks I had taken upon myself, the duck followed me wherever I went, hard on my heels, but along side of me.

    For days the episode just described occurred, the duck following me wherever I went, and when I entered the trailer at the end of the day, the duck immediately assumed its place on the peak of the roof of the family abode.

    The summer was upon us, and to make life a little more comfortable for the duck I made a shelter in the shade of some trees, and placed an upside-down trash can lid next to it for the duck to wade in. I also placed a container of water nearby for the duck to drink from.


Daffy 6


    Across the street from the family residence there happened to be a farm store. From that store I purchased a bundle of hay with which to make the duck, who I had named Daffy because of his daffy behavior, a bed in his abode that I had built for him.

    In the picture to your left you'll find that the hay I bought is not in the house I built for Daffy, but under my van. Daffy decided the concrete under my van was more appealing than the house I had made for him in the shady part of the yard. Daffy won out, which meant that I was unable to drive my van except when Daffy allowed me the privilege.

    Since this odd and daffy duck remained at my side for so long, I went on the web in effort to learn all I could about daffy ducks with big red knobs on the foot of their face. I discovered that the male Muscovy duck, which is a cross breed between a duck and a goose (which accounts for the abnormally large size of this duck) has just such an appearance.

    Ducks like nothing better than to eat. And their favorite meal I discovered consists of worms and bugs. Having no worms or bugs in my pantry with with to feed my little guest, I hit upon this plan: I laid several pieces of plywood, and some upright logs of small stature, in various places around the yard. Each day as Daffy would accompany me I would turn over one of those shelters for worms, pill bugs, earwigs and the like. Daffy, the daffy duck he was, would concentrate very hard on the piece of wood I was about to move aside, his tail wagging to beat the band. You didn't know ducks wagged their tail when they're happy? Now you do.



Watchman Daffy


    Muscovy ducks do not quack, they peep. I would say something to Daffy, speaking to him as I would a dear friend and constant companion, which Daffy was, and he would peep a reply. He never started a conversation, but he never failed to respond when I began to speak. I don't speak duck so I don't know what his reply to me was, nor do I know if he knew at all what I was saying to him. But our discussions were always lively and interesting nonethesame.

    You've heard the expression "as a duck takes to water"? This duck hadn't heard that ducks like water. I don't know what his momma told him, but one thing I know, he hadn't heard that ducks take to water like ducks take to water.

    I purchased one of those six foot, shallow pools and set it up under the limbs of tree where it was nice and shady. I then tried to coax Daffy into the pool. Daffy refused to take advantage of my magnanimous offer. I reached down and picked Daffy up to set him into the pool. You would think I was attempting to throw him in a pit of boiling tar. My next attempt was to build a walkway with a hinge in the middle so Daffy could easily walk up the ramp, then into the water without fear of drowning. No-go.

    One day, days later, I walked to the market that was next to the farm store where I bought the hay for the house Daffy wouldn't use. Daffy, I saw, was about 15 feet from the pool eyeballing it from a far, over his right shoulder. He stayed in that position for a long time. When I returned from the store, there was Daffy, in exactly the same position he had been earlier. From the window of the family garage I again checked to see what was happening with the duck that was afraid of water. There he was, in exactly the same place. An hour later I walked outside, and there was Daffy, in the middle of the pool sitting very quietly like good guardian angels are expected to do.


Watchman Daffy


    Why does a duck cross the road? I don't know either, but they do. And they haven't learned to look both ways or go to the crosswalk when they cross. Twice my neighbor has told me she had to shoo Daffy from the middle of the busy highway that traverses the front of the family estate (using the word loosely).

    People of my acquaintance, the lady duck-shooer just mentioned, asked me why I didn't build a cage and keep Daffy with me. I would tell them Daffy came on his own, and it was not my place to trap him in the relationship. Besides, when a person is trapped, even where they would normally desire to be, the relationship changes dramatically.

    One day, a month and a half after Daffy became my constant associate and companion, I walked out of my trailer, expecting to see my little friend fly down from his watchtower and land at his regular place next to my foot. But there was no Daffy. I investigated the roof of the house, and the grounds to see if Daffy might be in hiding. But there was no Daffy.

    For three days I hoped without hope that Daffy would again surprise me with his presence. but hope without hope leads to more hopelessness. 

    After that three days I knew without doubt that Daffy had done his job, he had brought me out of my depression and loneliness, and he had gone back to wherever little duck angels go as they await their next assignment.

    But Daffy, though he's gone, he's far from forgotten. Now thirteen years later I have tears streaming down my cheeks as I sobbingly sign off on this little story about a little angel with a big heart and feathered wings.



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