The day was about as beautiful, ostensibly placid, and availably pulsing and ready to facilitate as the capital of LA aerospace software development should to anybody who knew how to pay attention. It looked like the day I had arrived more than a decade before. Before I finished the fifth or so bundle of educational and professional work I had launched there. Was it LA’s way of saying good bye to me. Whatever,
IT WAS OVER! ENOUGH CORPORATE CAREER CHASING.
I WAS GOING BACK TO THE LAND. The wilds of Northern California Bigfoot country awaited me. I felt the pull. Like the moon pulling on the tide. I had to pick up a couple friends before i pointed the Uhaul toward the blessed I5 Interstate, California’s rope way of transport up or down the state. I joyfully traversed the city of Downey from the LA County software complex toward the current home of my two friends. I pulled up in front of the strangest entity on the boulevard. In the middle of the concrete jungle I easily found the location. Not a big lot but, a full lot. Soooooo full. One giant clump of green life. I could have sat and pondered … … imagining the myriad life forms within that giant clump of green. But I was focussed on two entities within that clump of green who had never known any other home. I was going to help them escape to Shasta County.
I parked the Uhaul on the street. Hell I had ten years of programming Defense Department satellites. My experienced internal operating system was not going let the Uhaul under its control invade the biggest source of life in the city of Downey willy nilly.
I calmed my anxiety in my favorite way. I sauntered. ‘Saunter’ was a word that had charmed me with its soft susurrant way of suggesting, in a cosmological way, that I handle a situation that required moving stars from one galaxy to another without stumbling. I added an alert ear to my saunter down the narrow driveway that a less alert person would have missed entirely. I reached the inner end of the driveway before I had finished listening for the myriad life forms contributing to the sonata of life my sauntering had maneuvered me into.
There she was. Ms Isis sitting in her most comfortable porch chair. Her ninety five year old eyes resolved the saunter thing quickly. She patted the seat of the porch chair next to hers. “Come sit,” she said. “They are right here!”
Well, my heart was pounding already but, the pounding increased as I approached the porch and sat down very correctly in the proffered chair. Then the shoe box caught my eye. I raised my eyebrows and gave Ms Isis quizative look and she nodded her head up and down as the top of the shoe box slipped away and there they were. “Now, we talked about this Jack but I want to ask you lest I did not ask you before, are you going to eat these ducks?”
“No, Ms Isis, I am however going to eat their eggs.” And that conversation opener kicked off an hour’s conversation. The ducks seemed to be listening. Even after they fell asleep. When I took the shoe box to the Uhaul i was thinking I probably knew more about ducks that any satellite programmer in LA County.
They slept all the way to Shasta County. I watched them carefully for a couple weeks. Pretty soon they knew their way around the farm better than I did. They were a big item for awhile. I never ignored them. They never got ignored but pretty soon they were just another couple critters. No, I cannot say that. I should say pretty soon they were ANOTHER SPECIAL COUPLE CRITTERS.
One day I looked around. Then I asked around. No one had seen the ducks. I looked everywhere. No ducks. I never saw Daisy Duck again. A week or so later I was rassling with my pig, Spook, when I saw we had an audience. Sir Francis Drake was staring at me from the edge of the pig muck. I should not say he was staring because his right eye was hanging on his chin. I knew he could not exist. Not long, anyway. I did what I had told Ms Isis I would not do. I ate him. For his own good. And what better send off could I give him.