Duck

“It’s a duck.”

“Hmm, I dunno.”

Katie sighed, tired of an argument that had now been going on for far too long.

“Dan,” she said, extending her patience so thin it might as well not exist anymore. “It swims like a duck, it quacks like a duck. It’s a duck.”

“Just because you say it’s a duck, and use the word duck over and over again, it doesn’t mean it is definitely a duck.”

“We’re sat beside a duck pond. There is a sign there that says ‘do not feed the ducks’, next to a picture of the very duck you are claiming might not be a duck. A picture captioned as ‘Ducky McDuckface’ brackets ‘a duck’.”

Dan wrinkled his nose. Dan had a habit of doing that when he was proved wrong. And like he always did when confronted with the incontrovertible facts, he folded his arms across his chest and sank back in his seat.

“I’m not convinced,” he said with a sniff.

The duck swam past, the water rippling gently in its wake.

“It could be a mallard I suppose,” he added.

“A mallard is a duck.”

“Is it though?”

“Yes.”

The duck looked at them, and quacked. It was expecting some more bread scraps, but there were none left.

“If I caught the so-called ‘duck’,” he said, using air-quotes. “And cut it open and did all sorts of DNA tests, those test would say it was thirty percent camel.”

“They would also say it was one hundred percent duck.”

“How can something be one third camel, and fully duck?”

“You’re on fifth leg. That doesn’t make you a leg.”

“Hmm.”

“Though you are one one thousandth dick, and you are a complete dick.”

“Oh, so now I’M a duck?!”

“I didn’t say duck.”

“You can’t have it both ways. If I’m a duck, then that is definitely not a duck.”

Katie emptied the bread bag, tossing the remaining crumbs into the water. They’d been having the same argument now for sixty three years. It had started when they first sat on this bench. She had seen a duck in the distance, but couldn’t quite make it out at the time.

“Is that a duck?” she had asked, filling the terrifying silence, and pointing to the other side of the massive pond.

“No.”

Then they had say staring at it, as it swam closer, clearly a duck.

Dan, confronted with this, didn’t admit he was wrong. He dug in. And now, sixty years later, it was all they ever talked about.

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