Monday, May 4, 2009

“Who’s Your Daddy?”

The creature bedded down in the nest scrambles around in the hay and our heroine jerks again. She has a secret fear about creatures jumping out at her, mainly due to an incident with a raccoon over the winter. But this fearsome creature is neither fearsome, nor a creature, in the strictest sense. It’s a duck. A momma duck. With eggs. An even baker’s dozen.

“Well, Momma Duck,” our heroine farmer says, “you’ve got quite a job ahead of you.”

The farmer sits up too fast and raps her head on the edge of the flatbed wagon.

“Son of a bitch!” she curses and one of the twin lambs, who had been creeping up to smell this vaguely remembered invader from last week when it couldn’t figure out how to nurse, runs off with a frightened bleat.

Momma Duck flies off to take a swim in the waterhole out the back of the barn that resembles more of a small pond than a puddle. Another duck flies up to join her, a mallard, presumably Momma Duck’s boyfriend.

“And where’s my child support?” she asks. “I’m busting my duck butt sitting on a nest filled with your eggs and where are you?”

“Chill baby,” the mallard assures her. “I had a gig. You know, getting’ the band back together.”

“You and your band,” Momma Duck complains, ducking her head into the water and shutters.

The farmer decides to make an exit to let the duck couple figure out their differences on their own.

“You know,” she hears Momma Duck say, “I heard on the radio that couples are signing marriage contracts for five years and then reevaluating if they want to continue the contract. Maybe we could set that up. If you call your Uncle Bertie…”

The farmer counted sheep, and found the little white ewe lamb missing. She was a twin and hadn’t been the strongest of the pair since birth. The ewe seemed unflappable and unconcerned as she grazed and made soft momma noises to her oldest charge, a white weather lamb. The farmer began looking around for the ewe lamb, but failed to find her under the trailer, in the horse stalls, beneath the baler, or any in tight corner of the barn. At wits’ end, our heroine does the only thing she can think of: she calls in the big guns.

To be continued…

Next time: we meet our farmer heroine’s partner in crime: Dad.