The birds look forward to November every year. It is a beautiful month; all the trees have turned colors, some shed their leaves entirely, but it is still just warm enough for ducks to stay up north without freezing their wings off. It is also means the equivalent of Thanksgiving for the duck nation, Quacksgiving. Unlike the American human holiday that has some seedy origins and unclear purposes, Quacksgiving is a historical holiday thanking past avian leaders for their achievements in the establishment of their Utopian society. The name is a little misleading, as Quacksgiving is a holiday for all birds of any type of feather, not just ducks. Unfortunately, the ‘quack’ in Quacksgiving doesn’t translate well into English, nor any other human language, because humans have yet to establish Utopia and therefore do not have a proper word. For the sake of a poorly executed duck pun, however, Quacksgiving works just fine.
Cowduck and her fellow pond mates prepare the area for a grand feast. Of course, their grand feast will feature just enough food for every person to be happily satisfied with their meal. Even their leftovers are deliberate, as they set aside one plate per attendee so every bird can relive the joyous meal the next day at their leisure. It really is a wonderful holiday. They prepare a dish featuring an array of bird-delicacies, including some fair trade and direct trade seeds, some sap and honey purely extracted (with consent of the bees, friends of the ducks). They also have berries from organic, naturally sustainable farms, and some nuts ripened and picked without harming any trees. For the carnivorous birds, a fish or other type of meat may also be provided but only if perfectly humane practices were used. It is the purest and most delicious of bird holidays.
As Cowduck and the pond prepares the dishes, everyone is calm and joyous. Unlike humans, who tend to stess out about cooking, seeing family, and any type of large forced social gathering, the birds remain perfectly calm. The best part of a Utopian society is that it means all stress has literally been weeded out of their community and everyone is almost always happy and relaxed. So this preparation is not a difficult one, nor is it one that the birds dread. It is an exciting, happy, and refreshing event allowing them to eat with their fellow birdsmen and appreciate their beautiful, vast, culturally unique societies.
Quacksgiving always starts right on time, so precisely at noon all types of birds show up at Peacock Pond. There are canaries, blue jays, hawks, chickadees, ducks, geese, some penguins, an ostrich, even a few flamingos. They gather around, chatting with each other and catching up with old friends from other parts of the world. Cowduck greets the geese, long-term friends who often settle into the pond when they need to rest for a few days before traveling. She also talks with the flamingos, who revel over her unique feather-coloring and tell her she is so lucky to have such vivid and noticeable color-structure. She chats with the smaller singing birds who perform a traditional Quacksgiving song in acapella form, a performance that almost brings her and the other birds to tears because it is so beautiful and moving. Everything is perfect, as Quacksgiving is never anything but perfect. And by the end of the holiday Cowduck is happy to know she has made new friends, rekindled with old friends, and she hasn’t lost hold of why holiday’s like this are so important.
Before everyone departs a small duckling tells the story of Quacksgivings origins. She tells about the days when birds did not get a long, when they spoke different languages, judged each other based on feather-color, and fought wars constantly. She then goes into the years of peace, where philosophy and education and open-minded, safe conversations brought forward a time of new enlightenment where birds were suddenly able to put their differences behind them. Once filled with acceptance, they were able to become a Utopian society.
All of the birds cheer, delighted to hear their history retold in an accurate, at times even brutally honest way, because they know that they grow from hearing about past mistakes and are able to keep moving forward. Because no matter how perfect their society is, there is always work to be done or someone in need of help somewhere in the world.
Cowduck thanks everyone for coming, and personally says goodbye to every guest to her pond. Quacksgiving truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
“I’m thankful for pie. And no school. And the internet.”
“I’m thankful birds are delicious.”