I am not fond of a duck. I know it sounds odd. I’m an animal lover, a vegetarian and a general supporter of all things nature-related. But ducks are birds. And birds are dirty. I don’t know where I got this idea. And I have no scientific evidence to back up the notion that birds are dirtier than any other wild beast. Deer are certainly tick-infested. Coyotes and raccoons rummage through garbage and sewage. But ducks (and of course gulls and geese and crows) are the focus on my fear. Yet here I am (picture above), swinging blissfully in a hammock next to a creek leading to a bay surrounded by ducks. And I have to admit, up close, they’re pretty cute. They don’t have fleas or mites swarming around them. They didn’t leave piles of duck poop in their wake. They didn’t even try to bite my toes. They were just cute. And waddly. And very, very happy that my friend Bob was calling to them in a Daffy Duck Disney voice (although on second thought, it may not have been his goofy voice at all but the bread crumbs Bob was throwing from a fancy Citarella bag that got them all amped up). So I’m changing my mind about ducks. At least for today. Today I’m relaxed and happy and in my favorite place in the world. And I will consider being fond of a duck.