This is the most recent addition to Gam’s magic refrigerator prayer list.
Right away, you’ll notice four things:
- I’ve been booted.
- I’ve been booted in place off “baby chicks” and “3 mallard eggs.”
- Gam’s got friends named Agatha and Gertrude (and Claire Comalli, and Sarah Shapirro, and Marie Paradise. They already sound like they could get into trouble. If you made a movie about the Ladies of Riddle Village, you just couldn’t make up better names if you tried.)
- Did you notice I was booted?
Every morning, at 7:45, my mom had been calling Gam on the way to work–giving her updates on the annual batch of baby ducks she and her kindergarten class were hatching.
If there’s one thing my mom and my Gam have in common (besides “not taking any bullshit from anyone) it’s love of nature and animals. Which is the main reason Gam looked forward to her updates. The main reason I was booted from her magic refrigerator prayer list. And the main reason she still will not shut up about the duck.
“Where’s my duck?
“When is your mother bringing me that duck?”
“I need that duck!”
“I want my duck!!”
You really can’t blame her. He’s really cute.
There’s not many things that can top being shaken awake at 2 a.m. by sound of your grandma’s voice calling for help, and flying out of bed in a half-asleep stupor–only to be asked, “Where’s my duck?”
Or to squeeze her hand tight, and whisper, “I love you,” and to hear “Me too. And my duck.”
Or to greet her first thing in the morning–and see her happy face fade to a scowl as she realizes that you are, yet again, duckless.
And to see a hospice nurse emerge from the bedroom with a concerned “how in the world am I going to say this . . . I think she is beginning to lose it” face.
(with a wince) “Your grandma . . . well . . . she thinks that she has a duck.”
[Cricket cricket cricket]
“Oh–no. He’s in Colorado. His name is Patito.”
She looks at me funny.
So I brief her. And sweet Danine laughs and relaxes and says, “Girl, please, you have to get that duck here! What are you waiting for? The woman needs her duck!”
Mom brought her a beanie baby version. Although everyone thinks that we need to find some sort of “rent a duck” option from a farm before she dies–even if its just for the afternoon. It would make her happy.
And “the woman needs her duck.”