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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Blue Duck

Mama waddled down to the stream with her ducklings, Dinah, Dick and Derek. Derek pushed Dick, so Dick hit Derek back. Dinah stuck out her tongue at both of them. “Boys, all they do is fight. Stupid boys.”

“Don't make faces at your brothers. Don't you know that if you make a face and hold it for too long that it will stay that way forever?” Mama scolded her daughter. “Now you boys stop fighting. We're going to the pond for a swim.”

Dinah stopped making a face and was scared that her face would look like that forever, until she saw her reflection in the pond. “Whew. I guess I didn't hold it too long.”

They swam around and then Mama took them back to the nest. “You three stay here while I go and get something for us to eat.”

While she was gone, Derek nipped Dick on the foot and then flew into the air. Mama came back and saw them fighting again. “That does it! You two stop that right now. Derek, don't you know that if you fly too high in the sky that your feathers will turn blue and if you fly through a cloud your bill will turn white. I warn you two and you Dinah, stop making faces and fighting.” Mama shook her head back and forth in anger. “I am going to get some worms for us.”

After Mama left, Dick said, “I don't believe Mama. I don't think my face will stay the same if I make an ugly face.”

“But Mama said it would,” Dinah said.

“I don't believe her either, Dinah. Come on, Dick. Let's make faces and hold them as long as we want. We'll prove to Dinah that Mama isn't telling the truth.” Derek and Dick stood next to each other. “One, two, three,” Derek said and made a face.

Dick saw Derek do it, so he scrunched up his face and made it as ugly as he could. Both Dick and Derek held their ugly faces for five minutes. “There,” said Dick. “My face didn't stay ugly. Neither did Derek's.”

“You're right. Mama didn't tell us the truth. Why would she say that?” Dinah sat on the grass.

“Because she doesn't like to see you make faces. I'll bet that if I flew up to the sky and zoomed through a cloud that I wouldn't turn blue either,” Derek said.

“Go ahead and try,” Dinah said.

Derek took a deep breath and flew as high as he could. He zoomed through the clouds with his webbed feet tucked under his feathers. “Whee! Whee! Whee! I am flying high in the sky.”

When he flew back down to join his brother and sister, Dinah and Dick gulped. “Derek, Mama wasn't lying about this. Your bill is white and your feathers are blue. You're a blue duck,” Dinah said.

“Your feet are still orange because you had them tucked under your wings, but you're as blue as they sky,” Dick said.

Mama quacked, warning the ducklings of her return.

“You'd better hide,” Dinah said to her brother. “Mama's going to be mad at you when she sees that you're blue.”

Derek hid behind Dinah and Dick.

Mama came back with worms and dropped them on the ground near the nest. “Where's Derek?”

“He, um, he, um,” Dinah said.

“He um what?” Mama tapped her foot. “Derek duckling, you come here to your mama right now.”

Derek peeked out from behind the others. “Hi, Mama.”

“Derek! You're blue. You went flying high in the sky, didn't you? Your feathers are blue and look at your bill. It's as white as the snow.” Mama gasped in horror. “My duckling is blue. Boo hoo. Boo hoo.” Mama sobbed.

Mama was so upset that she fell asleep.

The ducklings went down to the pond. “Maybe I can wash the blue off,” Derek said. He ran into the pond and splashed water all over him. Just then they heard a gunshot. “Oh no,” whispered Derek. “It's hunters, duck hunters.”

Dick and Dinah hid behind the bushes. “Derek's in the pond and the duck hunters will see him and shoot him,” Dinah cried.

“No, they can't. He's blue, like the water. He's invisible. They can't see him.” Dick giggled. He crept closer to the pond. “Derek,” he called so only his brother could hear. “Derek, they can't see you because you're blue. Go and play a trick on them. Chase them away so they never come back to the pond again.”

Derek snickered. He swam over to the men hiding in the bushes on the other side of the pond. He made scary noises.

“What was that noise?” One of the hunters pushed the other. “Is that you?”

“No, it's not me. I didn't make any noise.”

Derek made scary noises again.

“Was that you?” The hunter stood.

“No. I think there must be a ghost in the pond.”

“A ghost? In the pond? I'm outta here.” The duck hunter gathered his things and ran away. The other one followed.

Never again did hunters come near the pond and in fact, instead of being called Dugan's Pond, from then on it was called, Ghost Pond.

Derek stayed blue for the rest of his life, but he always used his blue color to scare hunters away.

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