Perhaps I am imposing a romantic narrative onto these oblivious little ducks, but I’ve become quite familiar with and fond of them over the years. There are only ever two of them and they are always–and I mean always–together. Their first arrival of the year is a good indicator that the ruthless winter is finally over–so, as both a symbol of springtime and companionship, I’ve really come to appreciate their visits.
Oliver and Daisy Mallard–as I’m sure they’re actually named–have been floating and feeding around my backyard since we moved into the house several years ago. Having come from the heart of downtown, we weren’t used to such guests (unless you count the pigeons that occasionally crapped on our balcony). At first my dad tried to scare the Mallards away, like we always did the pigeons, but we’d always wake up the next day to find them lounging again (perhaps stubbornly asserting their seniority). Even when we got our dog, Pepino, the couple would calmly leave when he was outside and faithfully return when he was inside.
Now even Pepino and our cat, Grisito, have made a kind of peace with the floating friends. The furry ones just stare at the feathery ones, as if intrigued by their collar-less necks and lack of domesticity.