Monday, April 09, 2007

Take that, ducks

Two years ago, I published a story about a group of ducklings falling through a storm grate on Shoreline Boulevard. A reader sent me the following photos from a different incident.

If ducks had newspapers, I'm sure they would write a story about what happened to my sister yesterday. Given that she's an award-winning journalist, I'll let her tell it in her own words.
Will and I went for a stroll yesterday afternoon. I had been to an Easter service in the morning for a story I am working on, and was wearing a blue summer dress, a flowered straw hat, sandals and carrying a purse that held my wallet and cell phone. This information will be important later.

We decided to walk through the park, which was packed with Easter celebrants out playing basketball and barbecuing.

That's right - packed.

We walked for a while, admiring the roses and the barbecues we were not invited to.

Then we started to head back, past the duck pond.

The duck pond - please visualize - is an opaque teal green, dyed that color because its contents would otherwise render it quite disgusting looking. (Picture the moats at your average mini-golf course. It's that color.) There are ducks and geese everywhere.

Now, picture this:

A child's ball goes spinning past Will and I (still in summer dress, straw hat, etc). I pause a second, then decide - "I should get that ball."

I decide this because I see a woman glance at me and at the ball and I read into it.

But the ball is moving quickly.

Downhill.

Toward the duck pond.

I run for it.

But the gap between me and ball is not closing.

I think to myself "it would be really gross if that ball went into the duck pond."

I run faster.

The ball is getting very close to water now.

I think: no one ever fell into a duck pond chasing a ball.

I reach my arms out as the ball spins into water.

I think: Oh shit, I am falling into the duck pond. I must prevent this from happening. What can I grab? Oh God, there is nothing to grab.

My hands and arms are in now.

I try to prevent the rest of me from going in - but apparently this defies physics laws I forgot about it.

My head -- in straw hat -- goes in.

The rest of me -- in blue dress -- goes in.

Handbag with cell phone and wallet goes in.

Will's last image before I plummet to bottom of duck pond is of my feet, in black sandals, in the air. Then I disappear.

Remember -- this is Easter Sunday. The park is packed.

A lot of people are watching.

I rush out of the water. Most adults are too embarrassed to say anything or approach. But I do hear a lot of laughter. Will and I sit in the dirt in hysterics.

A cluster of little boys come up to counsel me.

One asks: "Did you get any water in your mouth? Because if you did I would brush my teeth for like two hours."

Another advises: "If you got any water in your mouth, that would be really gross."

All want to know how deep the duck pond is (given it's color and ingredients, one cannot see the bottom.)

I apologize that I forgot to pay attention.

Will spends the rest of the day -- and perhaps the rest of my life -- calling me Duck Girl.

He likes to point out to everyone that I did not, in fact, get the ball.

3 comments:

erik said...

Joc,
An excellent, very enjoyable story. Ducks ponds are fantastically filthy.

You should have punished Will for not helping in any way by refusing to shower--or brush your teeth--after the incident.

-Erik

Anonymous said...

Erik,
Would be a good plan, if I did not distinctly feel that my skin was starting to burn. Also, Will was good - calling me Duck Girl actually made me feel sort of superheroesque!

Anonymous said...

Erik,
Would be a good plan, if I did not distinctly feel that my skin was starting to burn. Also, Will was good - calling me Duck Girl actually made me feel sort of superheroesque!