Floating on a pond in the middle of nowhere is a group of 12 ducks and geese. No one cares for them and no one brings them food. This year there are more ducks than geese. Some years it’s the other way around. But they always manage to find this pond, and they always manage to somehow live splendidly. I don’t know where they sleep, but they manage to keep clear of the foxes. Every year sometime in June, I see a few babies as well. There are always more babies in the beginning of the summer than the end as they don’t all make it. I have been watching this pond long enough to see several generations come and go. They are now part of my yearly routine.
They don’t seem to mind me very much, when they pay any attention to me at all. Now and then, though, they do come to check out the ugly featherless being who visits them regularly. I imagine they think I am very peculiar, very clumsy, and very slow--not to mention my coloring is exceedingly dull and drab. I was thinking just today that this might be a very accurate assessment of me or any land lubber, and then it suddenly occurred to me: perhaps I’m not visiting and assessing the ducks and geese after all, perhaps they’re visiting and assessing me. Perhaps the pond is just a big ducky science project and I am its focus of study. Conceited, I know, but just in case, I think I will be sure to comb my hair upon my next visit. It’s the least I can do, me being the object of study and all.