Tuesday, July 9, 2013

plight of a duck

It's high time I write about something that's been bothering me the past two weeks.

Now, there isn't much to look at when walking from my apartment to the university, really. It's either busy traffic to your right, a desert to your left, an empty-blue sky looking up, or sizzling pavement looking down. Take your pick.

On one particular Monday I chose to stare at the burning desert in hopes of seeing something flashy that would catch my eye, like a ball of tumbleweed. Instead I saw something a tad more shocking, a touch more disturbing, a pinch more sombering: I saw a dead duck.

He was peaceful for the first two days, resting very comfortably with feathers shining brightly. I never thought of a dead Mallard as elegant but lo and behold...

Then his feathers started to fray. They dried and the wind carried them at the tips. Through hundred degree days he squatted. His neck arched further down and his beak lost vivacity (compared to when he was a freshly dead duck, not when he was alive).

He's covered in dust now and is more grey than brown. His head lays about three feet from his carcass. Once his head was off I knew it was an appropriate time to name him. I named him Rolf. We´re two peas in a pod.

I don't want this to tear at your heart strings, but this being didn't deserve this untimely fate.  He was probably just waddling his way from the sewage with the prospect of finding someplace worth searching for (like the Venetian). But how did Rolf loose the flock? Did he choose his own path or did he leave out of revenge and spite? Is he just a loner? (Once you name an animal, it´s hard imagine them not having human emotions, like feelings of revenge and spite. )...

Tomorrow I will walked by this misplaced being. And, maybe through some relationaship between the living and dead, I will figure out the ways of the world (or at least think of a better reason for a duck to be dead in a desertous plot next to a gas station than feelings of revenge and spite).

Goodnight, Rolf.

P.S. I forgot to add that despite the sentimental side of this, the science behind the composition process in the desert is quite fascinating.

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