Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Decoys Love Company

One Christmas when I was about twelve years old, we were all sitting around our Christmas tree even though both of my parents were Jewish, and I was the only one with any possible excuse for having a tree given that I was Catholic before I was adopted.  And I wonder why I'm mixed up at times. 

Our family friend had brought a good-sized present for my parents.  It was sitting in one corner winking at them, and all the while, our friend was giggling to herself.  She was always clever with presents, and I knew this one had to be a whopper of some kind.

At the end of the summer before the holidays, my parents had completely remodeled their back yard putting in an extended brick patio where there had been plain concrete, making more interesting flower beds, and painting the bottom of their pool a deep, dark blue, so that it would create the feeling of a pond among their newly landscaped garden.  It was tranquil and pleasing to the eye and soul.

So here we all were on Christmas morning immersed in paper and bows.  My parents' curiosity finally got the better of them and they opened up their Christmas present.  Out of the package and wrapping came six decoy ducks, the kind that one would use for hunting.  But these were meant for their new pool-pond.  We all immediately went to the back yard and chucked the ducks into the pool where they began bobbing and floating in disarray.  Our small runt German Short Haired Pointer, “Pepper,” upon seeing these new foul, ran to the edge of the pool and, well, "pointed" at them.  It was just amazing.  Pepper had never even seen a duck in her life, and here she was, genetically predispositioned to show us where our game was in the backyard.

A month or so went by, and this same friend happened to be over one morning.  We were walking and talking in the living room, when we looked out to the pool and saw nine or ten ducks in the pool.  This could be right.  We only had six decoys.  Well, upon more careful observation, we discovered that three or four REAL ducks had apparently spotted the decoys and decided to join them.  One of the funnier epilogues to an event that I can recall.