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  • The title of this story may have led you here, but this is not a story about men that I have slept with or a the slew of epic idiots I have run into, it is a simple story about a duck and children. If you do not like stories about ducks, or children, or the combination of the two, you should click onward, past my nasty snare. But if you like duck stories, please read.

    Once upon a time, we incubated duck eggs in my children's preschool. Only one egg hatched. After the egg hatched and school ended, there was no plan for the duck. So we, my kids and I, took the duck home to our house. I, being the adult on call and in charge, concocted a plan to raise him, it really was a "him", until he was old enough to fend for himself and then release him at a local pond where he could, hopefully, join in with fellow ducks of his own type.

    Yet, while I was still planning, the duck became a full-fledged member of our family. Since he was the only surviving duck, my daughter gave him the name "Wucky Ducky". At 3, she could not pronounce her "L's", so instead of correcting her, we adjusted. The luckiest of ducks was now christened "Wucky".

    We set the aquarium with a heat lamp in the bathroom. We bought food at the farm supply store. We cleaned the aquarium just like you would for any animal that lives in an aquarium.This would work for a while, but who knew then for how long. The duck quickly captured my children's imagination. Due to the stress of Wucky's birth environment, the duck quickly imprinted to my youngest daughter. We went on walks and he never wandered; Wucky was always "It" in the game of tag. The duck would at first peep and then squeak, and finally quack; my children would laugh and run in the grass of our yard. My daughters would hold Wucky and swing on their swing set with him.

    Wucky grew. He grew and he grew. He outgrew the aquarium, but was still too vulnerable to keep outside unprotected. So we acclimated to his needs. I began diapering the duck. Yes, this is true. Pampers Premies make great duck diapers. We began feeding the duck along side the cat. All this much to the horror of my mother and most likely any DSS worker that might have been traveling through our neighborhood. This was the time of plenty, the time right before you know things will change, changing into something you can't see ahead. Change because everything changes.

    Wucky was no longer content to be snuggled by the warm, welcoming arms of children and the children found his wing feathers increasingly uncomfortable to snuggle. The soft peeps turned into very loud quacks. His afternoon stroll through our small, decorative fish pond became too small and short for him. Wucky wanted water, and a lot of it.

    As Wucky grew, so did his ability to seek out his own food sources in our yard. The day that I knew Wucky had to go was when we were playing in the backyard. My two daughters running around, while their infant brother lounged in his carrier, watching the world go by in the way that only a 4 month old can when all of a sudden Wucky Ducky hopped up on top of a helplessly reclining Little Brother. Somehow I just knew that Wucky thought that Little Brother's eyes looked like delicious gumdrops. In an instant, scared out of my wits, I shooed the duck off and away from my kids!

    We were all a bit startled by this, but my youngest daughter simply said "Wucky Ducky thought Jofus (Joseph) a good stool!" I left it alone, not adding or taking away, simply explaining we didn't have what Wucky needed anymore. We had to let him go.

    I passed Wucky Ducky off to a farmer who had a pond on his land, who then released him to his Duck Ways.

    There are stories that knit a family together, the ones you pull down off the shelf, blow the dust off the cover, open and crack the spine, all sharing these memories. Laughing, our beautiful, symphonic collective laughter has endured years of retelling this story. I thought you might enjoy this one, even if it isn't about what you thought it was going to be about when you started.
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