Duck­ing chal­lenges on the open road


It was a crisp spring morn­ing and the duck had acres of blue clear sky it could have flown into in any di­rec­tion.

So why it stayed put on the road un­til the last minute, kissed the grill of my car and bounced up the bon­net is any­one’s guess.

I’d not long left the bright lights of the city for the ru­ral life and un­til then, had han­dled it pretty well I thought. Un­til now.

The chances of hit­ting a duck on the way to work in a queue of grid­locked traf­fic are pretty slim, so this was def­i­nitely go­ing to be one of those curve­balls my new life was throw­ing at me.

I had a mo­ment of slight panic as I pulled over to the side of the road. And an­other as I con­tem­plated my next move.

There wasn’t an­other car, let alone an­other per­son, for miles.

The duck eye­balled me through the wind­screen, let out a gar­bled quack and tried to flap a bro­ken wing. Shit (and that’s be­ing po­lite). It’s not dead.

What’s the new so-called coun­try girl go­ing to do now then?

The bird was nes­tled nicely in that gap the wind­screen wipers fold into. Turn­ing them on didn’t budge the bird, but smeared a de­light­ful mix of blood and guts over the glass.

Typ­i­cally, the wa­ter in the win­dow washer con­tainer thingy had run out, but this wasn’t the time to ber­ate my lack of car main­te­nance.

Righto, I thought. I’ve moved here and I can deal with this like I’ve dealt with ev­ery­thing else so far.

The pos­sum in the ceil­ing and the tem­per­a­men­tal coal range that filled the house with smoke ev­ery time I lit it had been sorted, and so shall the duck.

Out of the car, I searched the boot for some­thing to move the body with, as the duck con­tin­ued to lament it’s stupid de­ci­sion from the front of the car.

No luck - I’d cleaned the as­sorted de­bris out of the boot the week­end be­fore and there wasn’t even an um­brella to be found. Noth­ing for it.

Time to be brave. Duck necks are slimy-feel­ing lit­tle things, I thought, as I flung the duck into the grass on the side of the road. Not far enough.

Quack, said the duck as it flapped around in its death throes. Now, there’s al­most tears. I can’t leave it on the side of the road to die a painful death - but how am I go­ing to kill the damn thing and put it out of its quacky mis­ery?

Time to use the only weapon I had. I lined the front tyre up with the duck’s neck and drove through the grass and away, not dar­ing to look in the rear-view mir­ror.

‘‘I’m a mur­derer,’’ I cried at work half an hour later as I told my col­leagues my hor­ren­dous story.

‘‘Why didn’t you keep it?’’ one of them asked be­tween tears of laugh­ter.

Liv­ing in the coun­try might be more ex­pen­sive than the city, but this girl won’t be serv­ing up road­kill to save a bob or two.


Ducks and roads can be a fa­tal com­bi­na­tion.

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