Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Chicken-Duck

She didn’t know how long she’d been in hiding, but time meant nothing to Antoinette; she was a bird on a mission.

Too many times she’d created a perfect nesting spot for herself, only to have her maternal ambitions thwarted by The Human and its egg-snatching ways. Not this time, thought Antoinette.
She’d been out on a routine bug-hunting venture along the fence line when she’d spotted the cache of eggs – untouched and hidden deep in the tall grasses.

How the eggs got there mattered little to Antoinette. Guided by a visceral, undefinable impulse, she hunkered down with the egg cache and waited.

Weeks passed. The Human had lumbered past several times, calling out her name. But Antoinette turned a deaf ear. She knew her patience and stealth would be rewarded.

And so they were. First came the persistent peeping, then the tap-tap-tap of a tiny beak against a shell. At last, one small ball of fluff burst forth, and then another.

“Strange, that one’s beak,” thought Antoinette. “And the feet are so flat and wide, almost like paddles….” But she quickly dismissed those thoughts and focused on the task at hand.

When day broke, Antoinette marched proudly back into the flock, the fruits of her labor in tow. The other hens looked at her askance, but she knew they were just jealous.

Antoinette didn’t even notice when The Human emerged from its compound.

“ARRGHGHH!!!” came a garbled cry. “What the F—?!?!”

The Human is displeased, Antoinette thought.

But what did she care? No longer did she have to hide; no longer was she a hen on the run.

Victory was sweet.

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