Duck, Duck, Geese!

Day 30 of 31

I see that people are writing about birds today. I wrote about a bird yesterday but it was more about a former student than a bird. So, let me try again.

When my daughters were 1, 3 and 5 my husband and I took them to feed the ducks. We, and by “we” I mean my husband, decided that we should take them to the same place he used to feed ducks when he was a little boy. Cute, right? So we piled in the car with two loaves of old bread and set off for the hour long drive to Cameron Field in South Orange, New Jersey. I know, bread is not good for ducks but I honestly was not aware of that at the time.

As we got out of the car we saw lots of ducks swimming in the pond and a few geese far off in the distance. It was a beautiful, warm fall day. We took one of the loaves of bread with us as we all walked to the edge of the pond. It must have been an adorable sight. My husband and I with our three little girl ducklings all going to feed some other ducklings. My daughters are tiny so even my then 5 year old, Sara, had short little legs coming out from her shorts. Kelly was even smaller and Emily, being only 1, was a newer walker with hand-me-down shorts that fell practically at her ankles.

Sara is a true first born-responsible, reliable and a rule follower. Being the oldest, she showed her little sisters how to tear off pieces of bread and throw them toward the pond. Sara demonstrated this like a professional duck feeder and Kelly and Emily followed her comprehensive directions. As they began throwing the bread more ducks arrived and found their way toward the girls. All the girls were laughing and giggling and it was a special moment….until….

The geese that were far off in the distance realized that they were missing out. Soon we could hear their honking as they made their way toward us. The giant Canadian geese began bullying the ducks and the ducks began to withdraw. They had likely experienced this event many times prior the arrival of the Clark family. My husband and I looked at each other as more and more geese swooped in. Soon they began chasing and hissing at us. My husband scooped up Kelly and ran with her. I scooped up little Emily and ran. I know what you are wondering. Who scooped up Sara? No one. No one scooped up Sara. We did not save Sara from the geese. I know. We suck.

Sara ran as fast as her little legs could carry her but the geese continued to run after her because Sara was holding onto the bag of bread. As my husband and I ran holding the other two, poor Sara was left to fend for herself. We began yelling at her…”Sara! Drop the bread! Drop the bread!” She was crying and running and screamed, “What?” We yelled as loud as we could in order to be heard over the hissing and honking of the geese.


Finally Sara heard us, dropped the bread and ran to us. The geese were no longer chasing her and we made our way to the safety of our car. She remembers that day and it is doubtful that she will forget it. It is also likely that this day at Cameron Field, where our attempt at fun duck feeding went awry, is the cause of Sara’s lifetime dislike of birds. Sorry, Sara!!!

Morale of the Story: Never feed the ducks with your children unless you have a 1:1 ratio of adults to children.

2 thoughts on “Duck, Duck, Geese!

  1. The moral of the story had me laughing out loud and before that, I felt like I was in some action thriller, the foreground full of you both with a child in arms, and little in full cinematic glory, fending off the flock! You built this up so well with foreshadowing at the beginning and a flashforward at the end. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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