March 2019 SOLC–Day 6
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
Even now it’s hard to sort out exactly what happened.
My friend, Roger, and I stood on the bridge as the day brightened about us. Below us the small merganser duck community swam around, dipping their heads into the frigid water again and again. We moved along the bridge, scanned the sky for the bald eagles and snapped photos of this and that.
Suddenly, something moved in my peripheral vision, and I looked up to catch sight of a small group of mergansers flying in low over the bridge. Turning to see, I watched horrified as one of them flew directly into the power lines. There were muffled thuds and the poor bird careened from line to line and then tumbled through the lines and onto the road and across the bridge to land in a feathered heap at Roger’s feet.
Roger and I stared shocked at the duck and then at each other. I’m not sure we even had time to speak.
Then, the duck awkwardly unfolded itself and raced across the road and jumped into the water. We raced over to see. Our reactions emerged in a jumble of questions and exclamations.
“Oh no! Is it okay?”
“What just happened?”
“I think it’s okay! It’s swimming.”
“That was crazy! I’ve never seen anything like it.”
After we’d gathered our wits about us and reassured ourselves that the duck seemed fine, it struck me. During the craziness of the moment, I had taken pictures.
“Roger,” I said, “I took pictures. What kind of person am I?! That poor duck! And I took pictures!… I’m kind of horrified with myself.“
I was sure I’d only taken pictures after the duck was up and running, but the whole thing had unfolded so quickly. And, wow, I took pictures. I mean, I know I already had my camera in hand, but I feel like I should have been doing something else–though I’m not sure exactly what. Roger reassured me multiple times that there hadn’t been anything I could do to help the duck. Still, I felt slightly ashamed–like I was a member of some relentless duck paparazzi. Funny…but not…
Back at home, I was relieved to see that my downloaded photos confirmed that I took photos only after the duck was clearly untumbled and on its way to the refuge of the river. Still…it feels like I got awfully close to some sort of boundary that I do not want to cross.