Tuesday did not begin like most spring days at 225 Meadow Lane. Instead of hearing the songs of the usual chirping birds as Greg awoke, he was treated to the rather loud and rude quacks of a duck. It was so odd he almost laughed. Why was a duck near his house (there were no bodies of water nearby) and why was it so damned loud?
The duck would not shut up and it began to annoy Greg immensely about halfway through his bowl of Cocoa Puffs. In fact, the more annoyed he became, as if the duck could detect it, the louder it quacked. He swore at first it sounded like a dainty little girl blowing her nose but by the time Greg was slurping leftover milk it resembled a huge fat truck driver in a powerblow. He was glad to be rid of it once he got into his car and headed for work.
Almost to the interstate, once again Greg faced annoyance at the hands (or, wings, rather) of a duck. Actually several. While trying to travel down Lee Street he had to stop for a long line of the green and white colored fowl crossing the street. They took extra time to playfully splash in a few small puddles on the way. When the final duck was across, Greg slammed the gas pedal, spinning a little on the mist-covered pavement.
Once he arrived at work, Greg noticed a billboard across the street that he had never remembered seeing before. It was a gigantic mallard staring down at him with the slogan "You'll Go Quackers Over It!" He was so distraught by the large, fowl/foul image that he didn't even notice what product the advertisement was plugging. Before Greg was finished being mesmerized by it a hole tore in the grey, cloud-covered morning sky and a beam of sunlight hit the billboard -- right on the duck.
"What is it with ducks today?!" Greg said, squinting his eyes.
There were no more ducks incidents until that afternoon. Greg was handed a CD by his boss of images to put on the website of one of his company's clients, a local veterinarian. When Greg popped the CD in and began to explore it he found it to be nothing but hundreds of photos of ducks!
"Ducks!" Greg exclaimed. He drew a few odd stares from his coworkers. He just shrugged innocently.
On the way to his car after work he almost tripped over a duck scuttling across the parking lot. He yelled at it as it disappeared into the bushes. When he was almost home it seemed that the same group of ducks he'd encountered in the morning on Lee Street were back, only this time returning to the other side of the street.
"What is it with ducks today?!" he gasped to himself. He wanted to honk the horn, but didn't, for fear it'd sound too much like the damned ducks.
After he arrived in his driveway, he got an idea. The Shrewsbury sisters down the street, a couple of old women who liked to sit out on their porch drinking tea and talking to passers-by, were very wise and often had good advice for people in the neighborhood who'd experienced odd things. They once accurately diagnosed the cause of a very strange pinging noise that had been coming from his car. They once informed Sally Rutherford that she was pregnant after she'd come to them complaining about strange dreams involving fish and bunnies. (Greg never quite figured out what the connection was.)
"Maybe they'll know something," he mumbled to himself as he strolled down the street.
"Excuse me, Betty, Gertrude?" Greg called to them from the sidewalk. Betty, the short and stout one, turned and smiled. Gertrude, the lanky one, turned to him as well and looked thoughtful. "Yes?" they said together.
Greg told them of his odd, duck-filled day.
"Perhaps the universe is trying to tell you something," Betty confidently suggested. Gertrude nodded in agreement enthusiastically.
"What?!" yelled Greg.
"To duck?!" Gertrude replied.
"Duck?" Greg said, scratching his head.
"Yes, duck!" Betty exclaimed.
Greg frowned in thought. CLANG! A sizable rock flew out from beneath Jenkins' mower and slammed off of Greg's head. His eyes crossed, crimson spewed from his left temple, and he collapsed into Betty and Gertrude's front yard.
"Humans," Betty said in her native language, slowly shaking her head, "they so rarely listen."
"Indeed," Gertrude replied, sipping her tea thoughtfully.