I like to get my ducks in a row, whether I am organising an event, preparing an e news bulletin, writing my folk tales, organising my household and children, basically corralling my life.
Lately, one of my events has gone hay wire. Too many balls in the air and the ducklings need life vests. Just too much and when the life vest comes off one of the ducklings thought to have been safely corralled, well, keep swimming!
I shake my head sadly and get on with things. Must be a story that goes with this, let me see…
Let me tell you a story
There once was a woman who had so many children she really wasn’t sure where they all came from. One child begat another, or so it seemed. Surely she hadn’t had them all!
When meal times came around all the children would file in through the door and hand over their findings for the day. Greens from the roadside, veggies from helping a farmer, fruit (probably nicked) and always fish. Luckily they lived near a river and there was always plenty growing on or in it. The children would play and scavenge all day and at night their mother took their single contributions and somehow made a feast.
When they were fed, it was story time, the time they all liked best. Everyone would find somewhere or someone to curl up and snuggling, settle down to listen. Mrs Duck would tell tales of the Jumbly Man and his friends. How the children longed to meet him.
One day when the weather kept everyone inside longer than Mrs Duck could stand, there was a knock on the door. Mrs Duck had to swim through the excited, wondering children before giving up and asking the closest “dear” (what was his name?) to answer it.
Who should be there but the Jumbly Man? He was welcomed in and met every single one before every single child disappeared. Poor Mrs Duck was momentarily bewildered, then bustled Jumbly to a chair in front of the fire and made tea.
They had a lovely long chat. It had been so long since Mrs Duck had another adult to talk to that Jumbly’s jumbled talk was quite comforting. He managed to share news about new residents in the village and the river boat family stopping for a time before Mrs Duck began to think about a meal and wondered where the children were.
No sooner had she thought it but they were back. Each bedraggled, muddy child had gone to extra effort for Jumbly’s sake and a staggering feast was created. When everyone had eaten their fill, it was time to snuggle up for stories. In honour of Jumbly, Mrs Duck told a Jumbly Man tale, everybody’s favourite.
And that is the end of the story.
Ah, well, you see, if I just keep paddling, I guess everything will turn out as it does.