Number of days without a bike theft – 492-496
A sickness has entered our house.
For those of you who would be worried about the Kitten, I’ll dissuade your fears right away, and let you know that it’s not her.
Perhaps a week of living fast while Bill was visiting has lead my body to want to finish up the phrase by dying young, only to realize that middle age doesn’t count as young no matter who you ask, so it instead has simply settled for making my body feel like crap.
Now, with a sickness such as this, the first response is to sort of lay low, rest, drink plenty of fluids and sleep the day away. This being my first real illness since becoming a parent (thanks to whichever deity you prefer right here), I’ve not had to deal with this before.
I have discovered that it’s as hard to be ill with a healthy baby as it is to have a baby that doesn’t feel well. You still have all the whining, moaning and melodrama, but this time it’s coming from me, while there is this little ball of chaos who has little regard for me feelings, only caring that I rally my senses long enough to build another city of block towers for her to lay devastation upon.
So I try, and I play halfheartedly, and we forge ahead.
It’s not easy.
But I got better.
And after a few days, I was actually feeling well enough to do something.
In celebration, the three of us packed up some bread and headed to the park to feed the ducks.
Now going to the park with the Kitten to feed the ducks is something I’d looked forward to for a long time, the sort of parental adventure that she would always have fond memories of, as we gave old bread to the grateful waterfowl as they quacked excitedly.
What happened was entirely different.
First of all, I don’t know if you’re aware, but bread is one of the Kitten’s favorite snacks. She loves to munch contentedly on bread, especially fresh warm bread. We often choose restaurants based on the fact that they give you bread when you first arrive, in order to have a happy baby.
So when we gave the Kitten a piece of bread to throw to the ducks, she chose to munch on it rather than throw it (fortunately, we didn’t have old or stale bread with us). She also gaped at us in disbelief when we started giving the rest to ducks in the water below.
Now, I’m no expert in ducks or waterfowl in general. I simply know that, aside from swans or the occasional ill-tempered goose, they’re fun, funny little things that make cute noises and waddle about happily. I don’t know if they have a language that allows them to communicate to one another, or if they are part of a collective hive mind that allows them to send messages to one another.
What I did learn this day was that they are capable of coordinated moves that would defeat some of the greatest strategists and military minds in history.
As we stood on the bridge, our attention directed at the ducks munching happily on bread below, the ducks coordinated a devious attack on us. As we stopped to glance about, we realized that the bulk of the flock had climbed the banks and were coming onto the bridge to the source of the food – from both directions.
And standing amidst each group of ducks were large geese, towering above their brethren like heavy infantry and stalwart generals.
We were pinned down by an aggressive army of webbed footed soldiers.
We stood there, unsure how we would emerge from this predicament alive, and we panicked. Fortunately, our panic was our salvation. Our only escape lay with the fact that ducks are like people – no matter where their loyalties rested, each duck had a price, and that price was a full slice of bread.
Our salvation lay in greed of the ducks, as throwing them a full slice of bread caused them to break ranks. As soon as a duck had a full slice of bread in his bill, much more than he could devour on the spot, he turned tail and tried to flee in order that he could finish it all in peace, bodily hurling himself into the birds behind him like linebacker, seeking to knock them out of the way. The other ducks, realizing what he was doing, latched onto the large pieces of bread which were thick and chewy, causing massive tugs of war.
As they squabbled over the spoils, we picked our way around them and across the bridge, hurling slices of bread into the masses as they arose.
We’ll be back, but first we need to rethink our strategies…