We are being stalked by a Muscovy duck. A large male, fearless and determined, with a look in his eye that will make any person take a step or two back in caution. We've taken to calling him "Donald." Now that could be because he is a duck (Donald Duck) or because he seems like a fierce personality, perhaps like a certain Republican presidential hopeful who also may make people take a step or two back.
Donald has learned to recognize the sound of our back door. All we do is gently open it, and his head pops up from the waterline of the lake behind our house, peeking over the gentle slope of the yard with a tenacious look. Then begins the lumbering walk straight toward the door. Best feed him before he gets there, unless we want company at the breakfast table.
That was two weeks ago. One week ago, he began waiting at the back door at about 7 a.m. Patiently (rather creepily,if you ask me), but there he was. The sky was barely light, and Donald was in position, waiting for cracked corn. I found myself making tea without turning on the lights, just so he wouldn't see me in the kitchen and give me the evil eye. I was hiding from a duck.
How many times do we hide from symbolic ducks in our lives? Things we don't want to do but maybe should, problems we have but don't want to think about, habits we've formed that maybe aren't healthy...they are there, waiting for us at the door, reminding us to do something, but we leave the lights off and maybe even crouch down when crossing by the window.
So when I posted this photo of the real Donald on Facebook, an artist friend challenged me to paint him. And guess what? It was a joy! Such fun, and somehow through the process he became a muse instead of a nuisance. I found some philosophy in this duck's presence in our lives, and promised to give him an extra handful of something tasty tomorrow morning at breakfast. Who knows? Maybe he drinks tea...
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