I decided I'd better get to know my new Alma Mater's grounds before I actually was required to navigate efficiently through the buildings and over the paths. Mom dropped me off early one morning about a week before classes started. I figured I'd spend the day getting to know the lay of the land, so to speak. The first thing I did was walk through to the quad which had a lovely fountain outside the library building. The local ducks used it as their watering hole. Conveniently, there were many backless benches for the students to use as a great place to have lunch.
|Fountain outside the UVic library where I fed the ducks.|
I sat on a bench and promptly opened the bag and just like a cat who responds to the electric can opener, I had a dozen ravenous quackers looking lovingly at my chip bag. I chose one of the few polite female ducks and threw her a chip. Well, it was like a cat on a mouse! A kuufuffle of feathers and quacking ensued so I threw a few more chips away from the fighting group, hoping to break it up. The ducks went wild! I was laughing, watching them go after the chips as I threw more. I decided if I wanted one or two of these chips I better have them now so I grabbed a few and stuffed them into my mouth. The ducks all watched me intently.
Promptly and unbeknownst to me, an especially pushy male duck jumped up onto the back of my bench. I only discovered he was there when he bit my backside, trying to get my attention!! With a chip in my hand I turned to him, flabbergasted that a duck had just pinched my ass! A duck in the front of me then jumped up and stole the chip in my hand. I was then literally surrounded by pushy, hungry ducks!! There was one pair though, that were on the periphery of this blood thirsty group. They were polite and waited their turn so I started just throwing to them. Smartly, they moved around the outside of this duck circle, avoiding the onslaught of interlopers trying to grab their snack. My two polite ducks got the rest of the bag, I always reward politeness, lol.
Off I went to explore UVic for a few hours. I hadn't walked more that a few meters when I heard quacking. I turned around to see the same polite pair of ducks. I was being followed! It seems I had made friends because as I walked all around the property, the male and his mate tracked after me. When I went into a building they waited patiently until I emerged. Then they'd follow me doggedly to the next building! When lunch came I went into the cafeteria. They had a spectacular looking sandwich bar but I got the soup so I could have all the crackers I wanted with it (I asked first, lol).
So, now I'm outside, after eating my soup, with 10 little cracker packages. My two friends were thrilled to bits when I opened all the packages, one by one, just for them! It so made me laugh to hear a duck try to quack "thank you" with a beak full of crackers!
For the rest of the day my ducks happily followed me, even when I crossed the ring road to go to the bookstore. It was like I had my own posse or winged guard. The few students already milling around, getting books etc. thought it hilarious, my little entourage.
Finally I was done for the day and stopped at a pay phone to call Mom who had agreed generously to pick me up whenever I was done (I didn't know the bus system yet either, lol). My feathered friends stopped and waited patiently for me. Over the phone I laughingly described my day to my mom. She didn't believe my story about Oliver & Mabel (my new duck friends. Hey, they needed names, how else would I call them??). I promptly put the phone down to Oliver, who obligingly sauntered up, got onto my foot and started quacking loudly into the receiver!! I could hear Mom's laughter over the phone line.
So that's my not so tall tale of my first day at UVic. Oh, you want to know what became of my sweet friends Oliver & Mabel?? They followed me for two years as I finished the degree I had started in Ottawa's Carleton University. It wasn't every day that they'd meet me at the cafeteria's entrance but at least twice a week my duck friends would appear and accompany around for a while before going for a swim in the fountain. Just call me the duck whisperer. It was kind of wonderful, actually and made me fall in love with ducks for life.
Here's my submission for this week's APR theme or "PAIRS". My homage to Oliver & Mable, my loyal little feathered friends.
Remember, there's my BIG GIVEAWAY going on for the next week or so. Enter to win a copy of both Issue 1 & 2 of FEATURING magazine. Click Here to enter!! Looking for APR? Just click here to be taken to this week's challenge, "PAIRS". Scroll down to the end and enter your artwork. I can't wait to see!