The Quack Shack

The Englishman wanted to park his car.  In our driveway.  In the exact spot where the cinderblock duck compound was erected.  Selfish.  He also didn't believe that the former duck house, which had since been christened Cluckingham Palace for our non-existent chickens, was an appropriate residence.  He wanted to build a floating structure to leave in the center of the pond, maroon the ducks and pull them in by a rope when we wanted to visit them.  I was horrified at his callousness. I complained to my employees as they had lent a sympathetic ear in the past to my woes.  My employees were not supportive.  Not only did they think it was a great idea, they offered suggestions and even described how to build such a structure.  I waited several days before disclosing the news to the Englishman.  I told him that he would need an old pallet, some styrofoam and a barrel.  He scoffed and reached for his graph paper, pencil, compass and protractor.  I retreated to count my shoes.  Again.

So during one of the hottest spring weekends in Georgia, the Englishman set out to construct a hexagon-shaped floating duck house. I was given the chore of painting it.  A simple task under normal springtime conditions; however the paint dried as fast as I could apply it.  The result was a clean, white house attached to a bright yellow platform.  A plastic green plank was added to the side so that the ducks could access the platform.  The tin roof was pressed into place with some difficulty and styrofoam was fitted beneath the structure with wire.

The moment had arrived to launch the Quack Shack and discover if it would float.  The Englishman and the English Boy carried the house to the pond and placed it on the back of the rowboat.  The English Boy paddled to the middle of the pond and while we held our breath, the Quack Shack was launched.  Amazingly, it floated!

It was time to introduce the ducks to their new piece of real estate.  I grabbed two ducks from the compound and stuffed them into a canvas shopping bag.  It took a few moments to catch the other two ducks but my persistence paid off as I dropped them into a second shopping bag.  All of the merriment was captured on video by the English Boy.

I placed one quacking and kicking bag into the boat and precariously sat on the edge of the seat while the English Boy paddled toward the white and yellow floating structure.  It looked like a hard-boiled egg.  The Englishman stood on the edge of the dock with the sole task of watching his two duck charges.  As I attempted to push a duck inside the house, the second duck escaped from the grocery bag, waddling freely throughout the boat.  Duck Number One wiggled out of my grasp and plunged into the murky water.  As he attempted to get back into the boat, Duck Number Two leaped out of the boat.  Ducks Three and Four dove from the dock and splashed into the water.

The sun was setting.  The tin roof of the Quack Shack gleamed in the fading light.  The English Boy continued to film his Youtube video, the link to which will never be disclosed by me.  Four ducks floated in the shallows of the pond, poking for food among the lily pads and scorning their beautifully constructed, sea-worthy home drifting nearby.

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