Features Peacock Pond Series

Peacock Pond Days #3: “The Thaw”

The ducks have been living in the cold, icy waters for almost two months now. Cowduck’s rocky throne is almost always covered with snow, keeping her from resting there and addressing her comrades in the traditional manner. She has tried everything she can to keep them feeling warm, both physically and in spirits. She made them all lovely hand-drawn Valentine’s cards with personalized messages of love and friendship and she’s tried to build them a safe cave under the pond’s bridge to protect the birds from the biting wind and recent storms of freezing rain. Despite her efforts, there is still an overall feeling of ennui and seasonal depression sinking into her flock, as their wings are always numb and their beaks always have little icicles hanging off of them. For once in her life as pond-leader, she feels defeated. It would take a miracle to help her and her comrades get through the rest of this brutal winter that was for-told to last another six weeks by the Godly Groundhog at the beginning of last month.

Cowduck lets out an exhausted sigh, her breath a visible cloud of steam reminding her of the depressing season. Her ducks are shivering, but right now she thinks the coldest thing in the pond is her broken, helpless heart.

At that moment, a human-person drops  a piece of thick fabric on the ground but doesn’t notice it and continues walking. Cowduck waddles over to the mysterious item and pecks at it with her beak; it is soft and colorful and has only one hole in it. The hole leads to two compartments, one small and the other very large. She tries to pick it up, thinking perhaps she will return it to the human later on. But as she lifts it up, the item gets stuck onto her face, the bottom of her beak landing in the larger compartment and the tip of her beak nestled comfortably in the smaller one. Before she can get confused and shake it off, she suddenly realizes she actually feels warm.

“It is a miracle!” she says, somewhat muffled from the fabric. “I have found a way to warm my comrades!” Without informing the others, she waddles forth into a crowd of students and starts pulling off the strange materials from their hands. The students, spooked from Cowduck’s sudden attacks, all run away, many of them leaving the warm fabric face-heaters behind.

From the top of the bridge, Cowduck looks down at her comrades and speaks in a loud, happy, voice, “I have a solution to our problem! No longer will you shiver from the cold! No longer will you see your steamy breath! The humans have left us these strange contraptions like the one you see upon my face, that muffles my voice but warms my soul! I call them face-heaters. I have one for each duck as well as a few spares. Come, pick out your face-heater and finally, enjoy the peace of comforting warmth!”

The birds all cheer happily, lining up to get their new face-heaters. Soon, everyone is decked out in cool new winter gear, all colorful and soft. Cowduck surveys her pondmates and sighs again, this time a sigh of relief. Her ducks will survive even the coldest of snowstorms, all thanks to the miracle of face-heaters.

“A duck stole my mitten yesterday…”

“That’s silly. Ducks don’t even have hands. What are they gonna wear them on, their face? Ha!”