Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Life Lessons from a duck

The stairs leading from one square on campus to another are usually full of students either rushing to class, or nowhere in particular, or people sitting around smoking.
This is the last week of term, so the stairs are unusually crowd-free.

I noticed a lady mallard at the foot of the stairs. She awkwardly waddled up each one. Twenty-eight torturous, slow waddles later, she was at the top of the stairs. I know she didn't have broken wings because as I watched, amazed, she was then alarmed by a group of undergraduates running around in the upper square and took wing. Quickly and effortlessly.

I thought:
Why did you do that?!

And then I thought:
That is what someone who is looking at me from the outside might think.
Am I shuffling when I could be flying?

Or maybe, even though she knew she could fly, Ms. Mallard needs to do something slowly and tortuously? She wants to learn to walk better? She just likes climbing stairs even though she's not exactly designed to do it? Maybe she doesn't give a fig about what she's designed to do, and just wanted to see whether she could.
Am I doing that?

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