Ducks and Chucks,
Friends, the other day, Riley and I went to our local duck-pub, The Duck's Head, which is something we haven't done for almost a year. Many of my friends from work head there at the end of the day for a few beakfuls of pondweed beer, but I usually feel too duck-zonked. Anyway, Mallard had been inviting Riley and I FOREVER, and we were in the mood for a pub quiz.
Imagine my surprise, however, when quiz-organizer Laurel Coot called out the first question, which was, "What is Duck T's favorite cereal?"
"Did I hear that right?" I asked Riley and Mallard. "Did they just ask about ME?"
Riley was delighted. "Well, Duck? What's the answer?"
I wrote down Duck Puffs—and noticed that coincidentally, Mallard was looking very "puffed" himself. "Bravo, old chap," he said. "We'll be winning the hair curlers in no time!"
"Hair curlers?" I asked.
Riley assured me, "You can use them on plush feathers, Duck. Also, the winners each get a free pub meal, and they DON'T mind if you order five servings of chocolate pudding."
Laurel Coot called out the second quiz question: "What is Duck T's favorite swear word?"
"Whaaaa...?" I quacked in amazement.
"That's EASY!" cawed Riley excitedly, as they wrote down "ducking."
"It's another ducking question about ME!" I quacked.
"And not one about moi," said Mallard. "Curious indeed."
The next question, which was about my favorite restaurant for a candlelit dinner with Riley, knocked me right off the stool. Thank goodness Mallard hooked my leg with his right-hand flipper as I began to topple. "You're famous, old thing!" he quacked. "And when you're famous, it's important to maintain an immaculate posture!"
Well, the personal questions about yours truly just kept coming. Sure, there was one about Mallard's favorite pair of stilettos—which, of course, made him so happy that he immediately announced to the entire pub that the pair in question were scarlet and modeled on Judy Garland's.
But as for the questions about me, I was TOTALLY BEAK-SMACKED. That's right. My beak just flapped about in absolute horror and REFUSED to close. I looked like a thirsty duck who hadn't drank water for days. And that, my friends, is a classic beak-smacked reaction.
"Now listen, old chap," said Mallard, once Riley had explained why I was beak-smacked, "it's time to get used to fame. You're a pond manager at one of the most celebrated ponds in Assachusetts." (I apologize. I keep telling him there's an M at the beginning of Massachusetts, but once he's got a bee in his beak, it's hard to wrestle it loose.) "The point is, my trusty fellow, you are well-known! Just look how the other birds are looking across at you! You interest them! If you didn't, they'd all have left the quiz by now."
Sure enough, all the birds were looking in my direction, and I started to realize they were looking pretty anxious, perhaps because I was clearly so deeply beak-smacked. I mean, who likes to see their manager looking on edge? So I tried a smile. I even gave them a few of those royal waves Mallard taught me last Christmas. And you know what? Everyone started to look super-ducking relieved. In fact, after a few moments, there was a scattered round of applause. It was quite sweet really.
After that, of course, I completed kicked flipper and won us the quiz, even though I also had to JUDGE the quiz, which I didn't realize was going to happen. Still, we get a free meal, and as for the hair curlers, Riley looks super-ducking gorgeous with curly peacock crests.
Please hang in there, my friends. We birds salute you all! And if you haven't already, please consider joining my email list for freebies and pond stories. Thank you, friends!