Thursday, April 4, 2013
A to Z Challenge: Deliberately Dancing Ducks
OK, I know that my photos are actually of geese, but there weren't actually any ducks at the "duck" pond. I do love watching both ducks and geese, swimming and waddling around. I think they are adorable. But this confusion between ducks and geese reminds me of a funny story from my teen years.
The true story
The parents of one of my best friends at the time, Nicole (who happens to be my only remaining friend from high school), decided it would be nice to take us, along with a third friend of ours (who shall remain nameless in this story), to a nearby park at the college. The park was very nice. There were a couple of ponds, plenty of grass, and -- of all the horrors -- DUCKS!!!
What Nicole and I didn't realize at the time was that our friend was deathly afraid of ducks. She completely freaked out when she saw them, and began throwing rocks at them. She told us how ducks were evil, and how they will eat human flesh.
What she was talking about actually sounded like a pig, but I wondered if she perhaps had them confused with geese. Geese can be much more violent. Geese will bite you. Still, they don't just go in and eat all the flesh off your bones, as she was describing. And usually it takes some sort of provocation: such as throwing rocks at them.
She would not listen to reason. I thought the whole thing was really bizarre, and I was actually a bit disturbed by it. I had no idea my friend had such an irrational fear, and I'd never seen someone react that way before.
Later, it all came clear when she did something even more disturbing. When we were driving to a concert, we passed through a Chinese neighborhood where most of the signs were written in Chinese. She lost it. She freaked out again, saying that her parents had warned her about places like this. She hid her face, and begged and pleaded for my friend to get out of the neighborhood as quickly as possible. Who knows what other lies her parents filled her with?
The ironic part is that my friend Nicole is the member of a minority group, and our friend was racist. She must have been missing a few spark plugs to not be able to pick up on that one. She must be one of those highly suggestible people who will believe whatever she is told, even in the face of very strong evidence to the contrary.
Anyway, back to ducks. That true story inspired a silly short children's story I wrote for Yahoo, in which three geese believe they are ducks. It contains a little of everything from the true story: the confusion between geese and ducks, "racism," and generally believing in things that don't make any sense.