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Rubber Ducky Devastation at the Save-A-Swan Charity Gala

Ducks and chucks,

Today, I'm going to tell you a story about my best frenemy Sir Mallard Jones.

You see, good old Sir Mallard has one or two problems when it comes to being himself in front of other very posh ducks. That's why, when he was preparing to run the Save-A-Swan Charity Gala at Mallard Mansion, he hid his rubber duckies.

"But they're usually *everywhere*!" I quacked when I went round to help prepare the pondweed punch. Usually, there were rubber duckies on the piano, rubber duckies tucked into the chandelier, rubber duckies on the back of the very stiff Parisian settee. There was even a garland of rubber duckies on the front door to Mallard Mansion. And I usually liked this very much.

But this evening, all the rubber duckies had gone! I was distraught.

"The thing is, old chap," said Sir Mallard, "there are going to be some very posh birds here tonight, not to mention a very erudite lamb, and I really need them to give me lots of lovely bunny for the Save-A-Swan Foundation. (When Sir Mallard says "bunny," he sometimes means money, which is puzzling because bunnies aren't money. They're really very delightful, you know.)

"But your rubber duckies are a part of you!" I cried. "They're a very important part. And why would you put up with anyone who didn't support your charity just because you haven't been ashamed enough of the vulnerable parts of you?"

Sir Mallard, who was pouring pondweed juice from a carton into a beautiful cut-glass bowl paused in his pouring. "I suppose you're right," he quacked. "I am ashamed of my duckies. And that's rather troubling because those duckies are part of *me.*"

I felt a little bad after this, because Mallard disappeared into his Victorian-style herb garden. I could see him through the window, walking around, his beak pointed downwards, his flippers highly active. I was worried! I wasn't sure of the pondweed punch recipe, and I knew the guests would be arriving soon.

But when Mallard returned, he had a twinkle in his eye. "You know what, my fine fellow?" he asked me. "Let's make a *showcase* of the duckies!" And then he showed me what he'd tucked under his wing—a wingful of thyme sprigs.

And I have to admit, when the guests did arrive (and I was totally out of my depth, which is why I only stayed for about ten minutes), everyone remarked on how delightful his duckies looked with sprigs of thyme ducked behind their duck-heads. And one very influential coot took a photo that would end up at the Coot Gallery of Experimental Art. Mallard has never been prouder.

Please don't forget to sign up for my email list, where you'll receive Duck's original stories from me as well as free e-books. And I hope you are all well, friends! The world may seem dark, but just remember, it's a duck of a lot brighter with you in it.

Loves ya,

Duck T


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