Smooth feathers cloaked in a heavy fog covered his soft white breast while reeds along the water’s edge cradled precious eggs. The drake warmed his offspring, sitting poised and protectively still to avoid the attention of predators.
Mother duck limped along a footpath foraging for breakfast. Her webbed pedestals splashed the water’s edge as she glided onto the glassy surface.
She scanned the trail, swimming in circles and strained to her him call her name. She loved the sound of his voice, the gentle touch of his hand and the sweetest treats that came from a bag he carried in his pocket.
Two months ago she could not walk. He picked her up and carried her to a place away from here. Someone there bandaged her leg and brought her back to the pond.
Today, no one called her name. No footsteps broke the silence. Gray turned luminous as the coolness of morning bowed way to gentle rays that warmed the air.
Last Thursday excruciating pain landed Doug in emergency. As doctors and nurses worked hastily at his bedside the next day, he glanced at the ceiling and saw the face of an angle.
“It is time to go,” the angel whispered.
“I have so much more to do.”
“You have graced this world from the gifts God gave you. You have greeted strangers, cared for the helpless, made beautiful the colors of the other’s lives and you have loved deeply. You have lived a good life. It is time to quietly escape the ravages of this world, time to come home…”
“But I have so much more to do, how can I leave now?” he thought.
“It is well with your soul, good and faithful servant.”
“But my feathered friends will go hungry. They need me.”
“I will care for them.” Her voice echoed in his soul, “Lie back and rest for I am bringing you home.”
Back at the millpond, mother duck spread her wings as she waited and watched for her friend.
Out of the bushes a little boy ran to the water’s edge, “Mommy, come and see!”
“What is it Jeremy? Oh my! Look at all the beautiful ducks!”
“They look hungry mommy. Can we feed them?”
C.L. Seering, Illuminovelists TM, Wednesday, June 29, 2016