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    submitted 30 July 2004 @ 12:16
    edited 29 May 2016 @ 11:15

The Duck

Written by JAD
Rating: Enjoyable (3.5) (3.5 rating, 3 ratings)

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Once upon a time there was a duck. A special duck, a big special duck... measuring some 10ft tall from feathery head to webbed toes. It was a special duck because it was made of yellow crystal and because it sat in the marshlands south of the Vermouth peaks. The duck wasn't a monument though, it once was a real duck and being just a duck never aquirred a name. Yet it does have a story...

Once upon a time there was a duck who was innocently minding it's own buisness floating thru grimy water. The duck was rather obsessive about keeping it's brillant yellow feathers clean and purty and in such a murky grimy strange floating objects swamp... it was just but "impossible!".

While preening it's wing upon a sandbank a great shpere crawling with elecricity suddenly smacked into our duck. So it started madly quacking as the filmy sphere goo-ified it's feathers. Streams and tiny rivulets of blue funk surrounded it completely encasing the duck in it's spell. The duck turned to stone.

A huge creature standing on two legs came by later to loom over the stoned duck. The creature was a man and not a nice becuase the man kicked the duck into the marsh where it sank like a rock because it was a rock.. Later after time had changed the landscape another foolish man misfired another spell and our duck buried in the sand grew up.

Sometime after that time a village was settled nearby. Typical for men they praised the strange duck as a great wonder imbibing it with great legends. That is to say until one day a little girl chanced by it on her normal romp. She lived in the closest village nearby and it was her practice to roam the surrounding countryside when she could pull herself from chores.

This was one of those days and in pure piggy tailed joy she bounced and throttled the ground with her bare feet. The 3rd lamp of Tetros was descending from the sky and it's light caught the bill of our mistreated duck. A great beam of light cast itself off into the distance and hit a pappy oak just beside the young girl.

Almost in a startle she viewed this odd light having never seen anything quite like it. The girls mirthfull eyes opened wide and giggles sprouted from her bouncing frame. Here was this luminescent beam of yellow just for her to play with. In a burst of giggles she began her great work; letting the beam stop on her hand, jumping and frollicking thru the beam, telling the beam to behave and the million other works a little girl might perform. Lucky for us she had a burst of inspiration and traveled up the beam pretending she was a butterfly. The beam got caught in a growth of marsh weeds higher then her head threatened so in a pouty frown she sat down with a thump on her bottom. She had to pretend that she was smart because she really wasn't so she put a finger to her temple and made a thinking face trying to determine what it was she could do. Unfortunately there were gnats and nastly little grubs and hairy spiders with long legs on the ground and they wanted to be freinds. So instead of actually succeeding in making a good decision like turning back she thought she couldn't go in there or rather she wouldn't." Which seems alright but she forgot she had never been out this far from home and it was just about time to return. So she thought harder squishing her face together to make bigger wrinkles. "She could'nt leave without finding the source of the mysterious beam. No that would just not do obviously." So in a burst of determination furrowing her cute little brow she plunged thru the thick weeds doing her best to avoid the nasty little bugs. They were nothing like beautiful butterflies. Just beyond the weeds she entered a small sandy clearing with a light covering of clear water just an inch or so thick. The water was warm against her toes and sooothing where there was cold mud. Turning a corner in the maze of weeds ahead she found a grub attached to her ankle. With a shriek of horror she swatted at it knocking it to the ground. As was neccesary she wagged her finger at it telling the grub most harshly that one should never startle a person that way. The grub didn't answer back so with a dismissing "Oh my never" she tromped off.

The way was not easy and all sorts of thorny thistles snagged her dress. Finally she came to another sandy clearing and in the center of it was our duck covered almost to the bill with waterbushes. To say the least she was awestruck and stood there for some time merely staring at the big fat bill.

The enchantment that had turned to duck to stone had lasted thousands of years and perhaps it was beginning to ebb. For the young girl swore upon the dirt between her toes that she heard a quack. Now it took some momments of standing in the water before the duck before her realized what it was. There had not been a duck seen in hundreds of years yet the legend of this particular duck passed on by her grandmother struck a cord. It was the ancient Duck Laronge who had hidden from the mocking birds. With the wind flapping her pig tailed hair around violently she jumped up and down in glee. She had found Laronge who had also once been a smelly brownie mage, a chef, a Fudd turned vegetarian, and a pair of shoes for a elven princess. According to the current legend surrounding our duck one day it would return to being duck when the mocking birds were gone. Mocking birds were nasty noisy sharp beaked birds that liked to peck your eyes out and then eat you. Not in that order of course as they had to open their beaks in order to sqauwk and pecking was normally done with their beaks closed. Mocking birds tasted good yet truly they were a great annoyance to any youngster going for a romp in the wilds.

The wilds were of course rather wild in those days. Ninety percent of the population lived in small villages that they perferred not to be called hamlets. Essentialy these villages were about half a day walk from each other in clusters of five to ten. The clustered villages were ruled by a single lord who kept garrisons of soldiers in each village. Farms were located on the outskirts of each village if not confined within it's walls. Those farms on the outskirts were in constant danger of raiding from rival villages under the power of different lords. There was also the threat of the local flora and fauna and the persistent threat of trolls testing the stones. Few if not any traveled beyond a half days walk from the villages or farms as night brought the waking of the trolls. Still the enterprising young children sought the wilds for games of recreation and tasty grubs. Our little girl was one of those of course and the threat of a travelling band of hungry ogres weighed heavily on her mind.

The young girl decided that the least she could do is clean the duck off before she left. While averting her eyes to the brush and plant life surrounding the duck she felt their weight in little sacs in her inner ear. Tugging with her mind she ripped weeds up out of the muck into the air. It was short work and easily done, in minutes she had cleared the area around the duck only to discover a sand bank beneath it's webbed toes. The third lamp was the only one left in the sky and it was descending rapidily. Yet she had seen the duck and would return. In a swish of her little skirts she rushed off home to keep her secret.

The next available chance she returned to the duck and bathed it in the cleaner water of the marsh. She took to talking to it and it occasionally quacked back in response. Over several years she kept the secret and spoke with the duck who seemed mildly intelligent on matters of keeping clean and fishing, while all other topics seemed to result in silence from the duck. The young girl was steadily growing into womanhood and her visits with the duck became less and less frequent.

One day she returned to her childhood romp to find the duck gone. A trail of webbed toe'd prints led deep into the marsh and she followed them. Hours later she found the duck swimming deep in the marshlands surrounded by stoned trolls. She was so overjoyed to see the duck that she swam into the water only to catch her legs in a tangle of weeds. The duck perceived her and swam towards her diligently after taking a momment to preen it's feathers. Happily it quacked not certain why the young woman's arms were flailing yet as it was a duck all manners of humans perplexed it greatly.

To place it rather bluntly the once curious pig tailed little girl drowned in the marsh. The duck despite their long aquantice was not too accustomed to being a lifegaurd. In fact by the time in which the duck finished preening it's feathers and swam towards it's long time freind she was gone. Likely it was due to the fact the duck's wake as it moved towards her cast great waves as it rushed. Those waves dropped the last mouthfull of marsh goo down her poor throat.

Yet the villagers and the men courting the girl sought her out with great costs to themselves. Yet she was not to be about the shorelines of the swamp where they intially dared to tromp. Many were careless about the approaching night and were caught by trolls deep in the marsh's center. Our mourning duck meanwhile lived a life of ease and comfort, preening his feathers twelve times a day. No predator even a troll wanted to mess with a duck as large as it was. It was literally in a state of domestic bliss.

One of the girl's suitors was a great archer, although all archers seemed to be quite great in those days. Really if you can nudge an arrow in midflight to adjust the direction and speed to hit your target, how can you be a bad archer. Well in any case the archer wasn't very brave yet he had really liked the girl and wanted to at least mourn over her corpse. Obviously he was young as this implies and prone to flights of fancy. He searched the marshes slowly purchasing stones to make camp deep in the marsh at night. He never found his love yet he did find a great duck. A great duck he brought home with him upon a great leash. The discovery of the large duck became a thing of festivity for the village as all had heard of the Duck Laronge.

Within several weeks of semi-worship it was discovered that the Laronge was no sort of magical duck. The duck was caged for nine weeks while messengers left to other villages to check for some sort of other explanation. When no further explanation came the duck was placed into a pot, boiled with a orange sauce and served cold.

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Member Compositions Average Rating: Rating: Enjoyable (3.5) (3.5 rating)

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