Drunk Ducks in Daffodils

Yeah. You read that correctly.

I recently sent a friend a cheer-up card with a duckling on the front. She and I have joked for years about how I like my ducks in a row.

Nice, neat, orderly rows. On a single, peaceful pond.

The duckling on the card was nearly on its back, webbed feet in the air and looked a little confused. I teased her that all my ducks but one had left me and the lone survivor appeared to be an alcoholic.

I don’t drink. But that one duck… he sure does. He’s deluded enough to believe he still has a job. That presumption is, at this time, fabulously inaccurate. You can’t get in a line if there’s just one of you. Or in a row.

He seems to think I still have other ducks somewhere. In a line. Or in a row. And that I’ll let him join the pack.

At this point, I don’t even know if I’ve got a pond to put a duck on.

To make matters worse, I only recently started catching glimpses of Little Miss Muse loitering at the edges of the yard. She’s been MIA for so long, I’d almost forgotten what she looks like. So I could care less about ducks right now. I’m trying to bait-and-switch a misbehaving purple-winged imp.

And now that yellow fluffball has taken to staggering around in daffodils, defying any wish or outright command of mine to find another home—because he’s unaware he’s been laid off due to COVID-19.

But there he dawdles and dilly-dallies.

In the daffodils.

To which I’m crazy allergic.

Those radiant flowers that signal the landing of spring like a ground crew guiding airplanes from the sky. They pop up in yards and landscaping—and in shiny pink and purple foil-wrapped pots in the entryways of grocery stores—just in time to coincide with my already-active allergy season.

What joy.

Those gorgeous yellow demon petals cast off microscopic invaders that sear tear ducts and inflame nostril linings.

And now, heaven forbid, if I walk past one of those displays—even with my pretty homemade Darth Vader-print mask—and sneeze? Into my elbow? Behind my mask?

Sneeze!!?? In public?

Ouch. That gets people’s attention. Their already scared eyeballs widen even further over their homemade masks and bandanas and tied-around-the-face bedsheets shreds at that sound.

What a world this has become. People suspicious and scared of everyone.

So maybe that one last duck isn’t as drunk as I think he looks. Maybe he’s got a clue that I can’t come near him, given his current location, lest I slip into anaphylactic shock. Hiding among the daffodils he can pretend he’s got a job.

That he’s still on the payroll.

Like I’m not gonna fire his fine-feathered tail when this is all over.

On further consideration, however, I think the straw hat he’s sporting gives it away. He’s definitely three or more sheets to all the winds.

At least by summer the daffodils will be dead and the roses will blossom. I’ve got no problem with roses of any hue. Little Miss Muse is partial to purple ones. I promised her a multi-dozen bouquet tied with a glittery lavender bow if she comes back.

To work.

In the office.

At the same time as me.

While I’m writing.

(Man, these days you’ve gotta spell out ALL the details, or the muses and ducks and politicians will find even the most microscopic of loopholes…)

If I can get Little Miss wrangled, then I’ll deal with the lack of a pond.

And my flock of missing ducks.

But I’m still gonna pink-slip the drunk one, bless his yellow pollen-covered butt.

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