October 1, 2008

When I was little I pictured all ducks to be yellow.  Every duck ever portrayed for me was yellow, be it from a television show or a children’s book. This is how I learned, then unlearned what color ducks are.

One spring morning we went on an adventure to the local park adjacent to a pond. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, these are some weird ducks.” They made the same quack sound, they had the same webbed feet and bills, but they were brown. A brown duck, thats ridiculous. “Are they just real dirty?” I thought to myself. But that theory was quickly thrown away, given they were swimming. Then I thought about flamingos, and that they were pink because they ate a lot of shrimp, and thought “They must be eating brown things!” Could it be dirt? Hostess Cupcakes? Who knew? I was speculating. 

From then on I paid attention to all things duck, and realized that I had never seen a yellow duck in real life. Naturally, I assumed they were nonexistent. A few years later I found myself strolling through the “Poultry and Rabbit” building at the Durham Fair. Right there in front of my eyes, a yellow duck. Something I dismissed as a myth years before, something I full heartedly believed in until my inquisitive mind went on asking questions. It’s a beautiful thing.

Damn you, scientific inquiry!


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