GOD’S LITTLE DUCKLINGS
My wife, Verma, had an extremely difficult week in the first part of June with the relentless, degenerative diseases of stage four cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, and acid reflux — The pain only relents to allow some sleep at night by God’s grace, mercy, and medical Marijuana.
Nobody fully understands our sojourn here on this material and spiritual plane in the revealing light of laughter and sorrow, comedy and drama but the one thing I do know for sure is that we live in a miraculous life that is ours but not of our creation; we can ruin it with negativity or rise up in it in the most difficult times to beautiful blessings if we have the eyes to see it, the eyes of Christ, and these eyes are a gift from God if we persist in faith.
As we go through the highs and lows of life, the valley low and the mountain high, we get breaks to recharge our hearts and minds, praise God; on Saturday, Verma and I got a very interesting and wonderful break…………
I was zipping along on Saxon Blvd in Orange City, FL, whipped into the left turn lane to go to Lowe’s, and hit a traffic snarl. Three cars ahead of me, a woman jumped out from the driver’s side of her Toyota as her apparent teenage daughter popped out on the passenger side. The woman ran around in front of her car and she and the girl were jumping around waving their arms yelling at each other and someone else in the car. I could see some little things that looked like scraps of paper dancing across the three lanes of traffic which had been halted by the woman and the girl and what turned out to be four or five tiny, little ducks.
The lady ahead of me in a pickup truck had pulled out to try to go around the commotion but was blocked by the women and the ducks so she jumped out of the truck to help catch the baby ducks. As I got out of my car to see what I could do, I saw the women in the first car had corralled three or four of the ducklings, and the lady from the truck was chasing the last one which ran under the car just ahead of me. The lady gave up chasing the duck when she seemed to realize from all the horns blowing that she had traffic blocked and went back to pull her big truck out of people’s way.
Then the women in the first car with three or four of the ducklings and the car just ahead of me pulled away revealing the last little duck hiding under it and the duck jumped up on the median of the six-lane boulevard right in front of me. I went for the little bird, but it dashed out into the speeding, oncoming traffic coming from the opposite direction. The brave little duckling ignored the thunderous avalanche of cars bearing down on it and, I, the crazy old man did too, acting like I was a secret service agent trying to save the president.
I saw the duckling was going to make it to the curb but couldn’t tell if the driver in that outside lane saw me and saw that I wasn’t going to make it; I doubled down on my old legs for all I was worth and in an act that probably sums up my whole life, went for it.
I guess the driver did see me, I don’t know because I didn’t look at him to see. I had my eye on the duck. Unbelievably, I scooped up the baby, turned on shaky legs, and disregarding any doubt in my abilities darted back toward my opened door, still running Kia Soul………. I couldn’t leave my car in the middle of the highway blocking people. I guess I’m just a people-pleaser at heart.
Safe in the car, the duckling, God and I decided that he/she and the story that went with him/her would make a wonderful gift for Verma, so we passed on my initial intention of going to Lowe’s and headed home………. On my way home I began to wonder just where all those ducklings came from; there was no mother anywhere to be seen and thee-day-old ducklings don’t just jump out of car windows riding down the road or jump off the back of a truck all at the same time in traffic………. maybe God just sprinkled them in the road there where people stopped to turn to go to Lowe’s.
I, the little duckling, and God were right, Verma was stunned right out of her trials and tribulations for several joyful hours; the duckling took to her like the mother he, (We decided to call the duckling he ’till we could determine the sex) had just lost. We kept him on a hand towel on her lap or her chest; we couldn’t let him run free in the house or on the porch because it was too scary for him. When Verma had to go do something, I’d hold him, watch his brave little eyes checking out the new, odd world he’d found himself in, and I would carefully, in detail explain to him what was going on, which he seemed to appreciate but when Verma came back, he was ready to snuggle or crawl up in her half-closed hand like it was a cocoon. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening loving him, admiring his beautiful coloring, looking up stuff about him on the computer, feeding him bits of food, and giving him water with an eye dropper.
Alas, by bedtime we all three, me, Verma, and the duckling had realized that our house and yard were inadequate to keep this baby duck; he would have to live in a box, Verma’s health was too unpredictable, and it wouldn’t be fair for the him to spend so much time in a box with no contact with his own kind. We had saved his life, that was a good thing, a big thing, and he had worked his magic on us. It was all so beautiful and precious.
S0, we put him in a nice big box with a warm towel to snuggle into. He must have been exhausted because he went right to sleep until we woke him up in the morning.
Fortunately, I’m sure, as God had planned all along, Elizabeth, our granddaughter, after hearing about our decision of not being able to keep the duckling, told us about her next-door-neighbor who raised chickens and ducks and how she felt sure he would be happy to give our little baby duck a home and we could visit him when we wanted to.
So, we took our little Duckling to his new home and cried tears of loss and joy on our way home.