So, I am a little Italian duck. I am on the shores of Lago di Como, which is..well, bellisimo .. ( scusi, but my translator here speaks just English, and Welsh, which nobody knows. We do our best.)
Here’s my story…
I sleep here every night, safely on the shore. Me and my egg mates, we are a little sock-bundle, all night. My eggmates are… Carlotta, Luisa, Angela, Rosa, Roberto, Grissini and Milano….(which Mama chose only because she heard, from a free flying heron, that this was an exotic name and reminiscent of glorious things.)Me, I have no name. And Mama watches us until well after daybreak…
Our near neighbours are humans. They throw us the ends of bread, and they swim with us. In the beautiful clear lake Especially at night, and in pairs, and sometimes without their feathers.
When the sun slices through the black mountains beyond us, we stir, and stretch, and shake our tail-feathers…And Mama watches over us..
and when all the tail feathers are shaken, Mama bobs us all out into the lake, and just a little way back to shore and then we paddle in and we have a little peckabout…
So on this day we have completed the morning peckabout, and we notice something in the peckabout-pebbles. It is a female-human, and it is drinking coffee, which I now believe may have been the most glorious coffee in the world. My brother Milano, and my sister Angela approach me rapido. They were most excited. That, they observed, is a person from a far outpost of Britain, and as such may be very morose, and seizing the coffee-window of the day. What, no gin, I cried?
” No gin,” they confirmed. “The ‘sun’ is not yet, as they say. ‘over the yard-arm’. This occurs around 6pm, GMT.. Hence, only coffee..”At this point, a couple of coots came by to laugh. Coot coot coot they went.( Mama says they are very unintelligent but one day I’m gonna run with the coots…)
Milano sidled up. “Go for it, nameless” he twittered “You want to be a chicken, or you want to be a DUCK..?”Angela muttered approval; she had some exciting plankton-snack going on in her duck-breast just then so that was distracting for her..
“Aww so cute” said the humanos, as I square-footed it over the lake-softened terracotta tiles, and the stones… “He’s so confident!!”
I have to admit, the feet were scarily disgusting. Apparently only British women can cultivate such hideously filthy fungal feet, Mama said it is because they all live by the sea and they kick their shoes off all the time to walk around the edge of it through all sorts of shingly stuff, and they just don’t care, because apart from 2 days sunshine in June they all get to wear massive thermal socks. They can’t help themselves” said Mama. “that one, for example, has been kicking around shoeless, picking up bits of lake-glass, and bleached pottery. Probably makes jewellery with it. Or something…”
So….it was a done deal in the end. Up I waddled. Right up to that rancid big toe. And Mrs toe-owner cooing all the time like one of those brainless pigeons that sits on the statue of Cupid in the square. I closed my ducky eyes for the final challenge.
Ok, so I may have felt a little guilty, but…Angela, Milano, Carlotta, Rosa, Roberto, Grissini, Mama..this is me….Pecky Duckface
I’m a hero, me.