Long long ago, in a land far far away…
Lived a little quackling who didn’t want to be a quack. At least, that was how it was in the beginning. The scary pond was scary because she didn’t know how to swim properly and was afraid that the water would gobble her up. The dreadful pond was also dreary and sad. The poisonous pond was poisonous because it was where gentle little quacklings gradually transformed into big quacks who cackled evilly as they pecked everyone else into their places. Nevertheless, this little quackling spent many hours, weeks, days and months swimming in the pond because that’s what quacklings do. She spent just as many hours, weeks, days and months dreaming up elaborate plans for her escape. Prison break!
When the time came for Quackling to leave, she was quite excited… and a bit scared… But to her surprise, she found that by this time she didn’t even dislike the pond much. If the big quacks were obnoxious, if the fish were particularly tricky to find, or if the laps around the pond were particularly long and tiring, then so be it. If the pond meant the world to featherlings who wanted to impress with their perfectly polished feathers, if they wanted to catch the big quack’s eyes by exhibiting their prowess at catching even the smallest paedocypris progenetica, then they could go about doing as they pleased. Most days she would do go and return, with little recollection of what happened in-between. And even less recollection after a good snooze. After that, if any hint of badness remained, she would get together with her featherling friends and complain until the badness evaporated into thin air.
Truth be told, she liked bits and pieces of pond life. The busy pond, brimming with life (and death) was full of interesting stories – happy or sad, funny or horrifying. Chasing fish and catching them as they struggled to slip away was perversely satisfying. Most bigger quacks were only sometimes big bad quacks. Many were really quite skilful and she liked to help herself to freebies from their bag of tricks.
Not long after leaving, Quackling started pondering about the pond. Was it time for her to change her name? If ponds are where little quacks hang out, is she still a quack if she doesn’t do what quacks do? What if she forgets how to swim?! Should she visit the pond once in awhile? Did she actually miss the pond or was this a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome? When she started to envisage trips back to the pond, Quackling quickly dug up the scroll upon which she had written a long wishlist of things-to-do for when she was finally free. But after all this time, she didn’t feel particularly creative and wasn’t too sure about what she was interested in any more. How unfortunate!
That’s all folks. The end.