Thursday, April 4, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Deliberately Dancing Ducks

Duck, duck, goose?
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.

Sidetrack
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.

Back to ducks
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.







20 comments:

  1. I hope she's overcome her phobia. I love watching ducks at the local pond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. I hope she's at least not afraid of other people now! :)

      Delete
  2. That is truly a strange story. Makes you wonder what her family life was like. Though I have heard that people can have real fears of just about anything, it did seem like something she'd learned from her family.

    I would love to check out your story this weekend. In the meantime thanks for introducing me to yahoo voice. Never knew about it.

    Nancy, newly appointed Spunky's Soldier A-Z Challenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by! I'm afraid to even think of what her family life could have been like. They sure filled her head with oddities.

      Thanks for checking out my little story. Yahoo has been fantastic for me. I've been making most of my living in writing with them, although mostly writing for Yahoo TV. Recently, I've made more on Voices by writing about technology news.

      Delete
  3. Well of course ducks would look down on geese. It only makes sense.

    The only thing ducks like more than eating human flesh (in Chinese neighborhoods) is picking on geese. These are all well-documented facts.

    I wonder if there are any more birds that Nicole has run a-fowl of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Awesome comment, thanks! There's just one thing I have to correct you on, however: The friend who hated ducks was not named in my post. Nicole was my best friend, and we used to hang out with our unnamed friend sometimes.

      Delete
  4. My daughter's favorite animal has always been ducks. She got a stuffed duck when she was a baby and each year after that we had to retire the old duck with a new duck and when she turned 21 I gave her a box with a bunch of old ducks in it. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha... Well, ducks and geese are both beautiful. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Wow, what a story. Sounds like her home life was pretty rough. Hope that she's found some happiness now. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw her once since then, and she seemed like she was doing OK. I can't be sure though. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. Really wow. People have all kinds of fears. It's okay as long as they stick with the normal fears -heights, spiders...clowns...:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's me... Afraid of spiders. :) Thanks for stoppin' by!

      Delete
  7. That's crazy! But yes, I've known people who were that suggestible. It can make them fear and despise people of a certain group, yet they can't explain why. It makes me sad.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah... too bad it's not so easy to reverse a bad suggestion.

      Delete
  8. Maybe your nameless friend didn't have rubber duckies on her bathtub >_<

    Sincerely,Miss Uncertain---sidetracked

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe... or maybe she did, but they were creepy ones. ;)

      Delete
  9. Very nice post - lovely writing, Kristen.

    In reading your post, I am challenged to think again of the story of the Ugly Duckling. Of course, on first glance, it is a story about not judging by appearances. But of course, in the end, the "happy ending" is that the protagonist does become physically beautiful. I won't grumble about that, it is a very human thing to consider and to use as a simple story ending. However, I am interested in hearing what you think of the classic "Ugly Duckling" story as a tool to think about racism...

    Chuck
    A-Z blogging at http://valleyoftheoldones.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There have actually been implementations of that idea. For example, the episode "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" of "The Twilight Zone." There are other examples, and sci-fi is great at taking those sorts of angles. There are episodes of "Star Trek" and others that have taken the same sort of look at racism. It's definitely an interesting way to look at things in an entertaining way. It's difficult to teach anything unless you can make learning fun! :)

      Thanks for the comment.

      Delete