by Tracy Beckerman
When you live in the Northeast, you expect that the month of March is going to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.
You do not expect that it is going to come in like a duck.
In March, the ducks are typically still down south, with the rest of the snowbirds.
Like my parents, they usually wait at least until April before flying back up for the summer. But this year, two ducks decided to hightail it up to New Jersey early. And if you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that there is one pair of ducks in particular that I’m talking about.
Yes, Larry and Loretta Mallardstein have returned to their summer residence, our backyard, one month ahead of schedule.
Apparently the daffodils and crocuses were not the only ones confused by the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had.
As I watched the ducks paddle around in the teeny tiny puddles on the top of our pool tarp, it suddenly struck me that the early arrival might not have anything to do with the weather at all.
“I think Larry and Loretta converted,” I said to my husband after informing him the ducks were back.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, we always assumed they were Jewish because they came up every year just in time for Passover,” I explained. “But this year they came up for St. Patrick’s Day so I think they may have become Irish Catholic.”
He gave me the blank stare he reserves for my stupidest comments.
“I mean it’s not a problem. We welcome ducks of all faiths equally,” I assured him.
He shook his head.
“Birds of a different feather can all swim together!” I exclaimed.
“We hold these truths to be self evident that all ducks are created equal…”
“Enough. Please,” he begged.
I wondered if the ducks had new dietary requirements now that they had converted to Catholicism. When they were Jewish. they couldn’t have any bread during Passover so we gave them matzoh instead. What if they had given up worms for lent? Could we give them caterpillars instead? I was at a loss.
Meanwhile, outside the ducks started to quack up a storm. It was clear they were not happy with the accomodations this time of year and were hell bent on letting us know it.
“What the heck?” Bellowed my husband.
“I think the ducks are annoyed because the tarp is still on the pool,” I commented as the ducks continued their litany of complaints.
My husband nodded. “See they are Jewish.”
“How can you tell?” I wondered.
“Listen to them kvetching!”