Duck Decoy Dilemma

We are all sitting in the grass surrounded by ducklings. This may have been the phase in my first marriage where we searched for a local farm that could provide fresh goat milk for my lactose-intolerant eldest stepson. Suddenly the farmer’s wife screams. My wife and I look over and our youngest son who is just a toddler is twisting the head of a duckling sitting in his lap. The farmer’s wife grabs the duckling and my wife grabs our son. We are shocked. Needless to say, the visit is cut short and we drive away knowing that we won’t be getting goat milk from a farm that has the possibility of getting duck poop in the milking pail. Plus, we never want to return to the scene where our beautiful, bouncing boy revealed his serial killer tendencies.

“What just happened?” I ask as we drive away not expecting an answer. My wife asks, “Why would he do that?” I begin to wonder if watching The Land Before Time several times a day may have some subliminal messages. Some days the little guy won’t eat anything but Cheetos. What makes it that bright almost fluorescent orange color anyway? Could it cause brain damage or alter DNA? When we get home and walk in the door, we see it; my grandfather’s old duck decoy. The same duck decoy that my son likes to absentmindedly unscrew the head while watching Littlefoot avoid becoming a quick meal for a T-Rex. We laugh and my wife calls the farmer. They aren’t convinced. It doesn’t matter. We still don’t think their goat milk is the quality we are seeking. I put the tape in the VCR, hand my son a bowl of Cheetos, and put the decoy on the mantle where it belongs. And, of course, we watched him closely for the next few days. Very closely.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions and to imagine the worst after the shock of being confronted with something unusual or what you have not seen before. Look underneath what you see for the deeper meaning. Try to hold your first perception in suspended animation before you react. Keep your opinions at bay while your unconscious searches your databanks. Allow your intuition the space and time it needs to uncover what might be the truth of the situation. What is at first an obvious answer often is not the final answer. This is hard to grasp mainly because we exist in a society that revels in the first right answer. Doubt your mind which also adores attaching meaning quickly to what is seen. Rather than trying to make sense of the world allow the world to reveal itself to you. And always place items up high away from toddlers.