Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ruffled feathers

Last night, I dreamed I saw a pair of adorable little ducklings walking across a lawn, panhandling. One of them carried a clear plastic cup that had bits of food in it.

They asked me for food for the hungry—hungry ducklings, I presumed. I was finishing a roll and had stuffed an indelicately large bite of bread in my mouth—a reflection of my usual manners when I think no one is watching, sorry to say. Since I didn't have any other food on me—and recalled that it was not unheard of for mama birds to chew chicks' food for them—I removed the doughy lump from inside my cheek and placed it in the cup.

There was a pause. "Thanks for the, uh, charitable donation," one of them commented in a heavily ironic tone laced with disgust.

I walked away embarrassed, then checked myself, baffled at their ingratitude. "Why do they need to ask for food anyway?" I said to myself. "They're ducksGod feeds them."