On October 14, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving a water bird, a bow, and a flower pot.
This story was the result…
The things she saw when she came onto the deck to water the flower pot shattered some of her illusions of about the innocence of animals. Or perhaps this was innocence. If so, innocence could be a terrible thing.
Ducks swam after each other, which should be a lovely, idyllic picture except for savagery with which they bit each other’s tails, hissed at each other, holding each other under water. She’d guessed what happened under that water and it happened to both the willing and the unwilling whom came up spluttering. Drakes did it to females, each other, and females held each other under too, sometimes cackling in protest after being chased.
She should judge animals by human standards. Still she couldn’t help muttering:
“If you featherheads were human, you’d be in jail.” She smiled a little in spite of herself. It was still cheering to see the ducks swimming around the pond, even if they could be quite nasty to each other.
She sat down on the deck with a length of ribbon and began to play with it. There’s been a way to tie a bow, a proper way which most most people used. A way that was sturdy. She no longer remembered that way. After a few moments of trying to see if her hands could recollect those old movements, she tied the bow the way she’d been doing it all her life. An unconventional way involving two loops, but it made a perfect bow.
Was there really any reason to remember the traditional way? Her way worked just as well. She’d never mastered the traditional method. Her failure vexed her a little.
If the bow looked good, did it matter?
She gazed at the ducks swimming after each other and smiled in rueful appreciation.