Monday, December 24, 2012
“Just spitting rain, on and on. No sunny sun, just heavy, sullen clouds…and no snow. I love living here but sometimes a “White Christmas”, you know, the ones you hear the humans talk about, the ones you see on pictures or postcards, just once, just one time, I’d love to be in one. The Pond isn’t even frozen and there is nothing white, save for the odd piece of paper that is discarded by a human strolling along these shores. I’m young, I know, but just once I’d love to be in this “winter wonderland” people speak of with such fondness in their hearts. My other duck friends are sleepy, some almost hibernating, but I’m adventurous, my name – Harold – bespeaks that. I am the Village’s Pond Crier, their Wetland Explorer, the only duck here who has ever had a hankering for grapes and yet all I want for Christmas is some snow”, Harold whispers to himself, his long beak downcast, as he huddles in some damp reeds at the far end of the Pond.
Deep in thought, Harold doesn’t sense right away that he is no longer alone. Another, far more special duck, is standing before him, all white, so sparkly, big filament wings on either side and a lovely kind of circular, sparkling tiara-like object on her head. She was like no other duck he had ever seen before.
“Harold, it’s Harold, right? My name is Bessie and I have been sent here to grant you your wish. The Duck Gods heard your plea and because you have been such a good duck this year, your wish will be my command”, squawked this most beautiful duck in her gossamer glory and glowing orange webbed feet.
“Oh, Boy! Really?! How?! I mean, when? Why?…I mean how?!”, was all Harold could spit out, knowing surely that if anyone could grant his wish, Bessie The Magical Duck could.
“When I click my webbed feet together you will be transported to a place I know has white, fluffy snow, but because it’s so cold there and you will literally be a duck out of water, you will have to - well, as they say, ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ - become One with the landscape there. Are you prepared for that, Harold? To go and “Be” and live your dream?”, Bessie asks of Harold, a sincere and serious look on her angelic beak.
“I am! I am! I can “Be” like the rest of them, sure I can! I’ll do anything to just have this Christmas be a white one, to see fluffy snow on the ground, to hear the crunch of footsteps and the quietness of a snowy day and night. Yes, of course, anything you need of me, just for a moment in a frozen fantasy world”, Harold pleaded his case to Bessie, loud and strong.
“Okay, Harold, you will spend this afternoon and night and tomorrow –Christmas Day – ‘Being’, living your dream. Once it is over, you will magically appear back here, back at the Pond, but the memory of your time “there” will never lapse, the Duck Gods’ everlasting Gift to you, your experience felt and cherished forevermore”, replied Bessie.
“Oh Boy! Oh Boy! I can’t wait! What do I do now? How do you want me? Should I be standing, like *this*? Sitting like *that*? I’m so nervous, so excited, I don’t know what to think!”, Harold squawked out, his webbed feet doing a jig on the nearby water-logged shore grass.
“Stand over by that path, you know, the one that rings this Pond, cross your webbed feet, jump up and down, pat your head with your right wing and rub your tummy with your left and say these magic words with me,
“Lickety split, lickety split, I’m off, I’m off, a snowy place, I shall hit! No stay, no stay, for here I go, to a place and a time with just tons of SNOW!”
And as soon as Harold repeated the magical phrase,
And just as quick, he found himself atop a planter, a frozen one, his body transfixed but his now coal-eyed gaze ever active. He was a snowman, a special kind of snowman, all glittery and white, with a lovely red scarf and kick-butt blue ear-muffs, in a place and a time he knew not, but which was just covered with fresh-fallen snow, the ground all crunchy-white, the air all crispy clean, the stars just beginning to peek out from under a clear, sunny-blue late-afternoon sky. Bessie had done what she said she would do and Harold was living his wintry dream.
He could not jump up and down with joy as he was frozen stiff, as Bessie said he would be, but his heart was so warm with sheer contentment that he knew he surely was the happiest duck on the face of the earth.
“It’s as wonderful as I thought it would be, exactly as I thought it would be. The best Christmas ever!, I can’t wait to tell everyone back at the Pond. But for now, let it snow, let it snow, LE IT SNOW, I say!”
And with that, Harold smiled and smiled wide, his new button nose and snowy cheeks rosy with the cold but the brisk weather was affecting him none as he was just so plain excited and proud to “Be” a northern snowman, for even just a wee moment in time.
Anyone who wishes hard enough always has their dreams come true, webbed feet or not. Though, living near a Pond helps…*smile*