lazy afternoon sun was slowly making its way towards the horizon, where it
would go to sleep for the night. The sky was a delightful shade of powder
blue, mixed with pale rose pink and magenta. Devin, the mallard duck, flew
through the clouds, gazing down at the river below him. The bottle green
and willow brown feathers of his back and neck glistened in the sun. He
was an exquisite looking duck.
Devin had been flying for a
few hours and needed to rest. He glided down to the river. His orange
webbed feet went out in front of him as he skimmed onto the placid river.
Midnight blue water shot out from the side of his feet, forming a straight
line behind him. Devin enjoyed the coolness as he came to a stop and began
bobbing up and down on top of the small rippling waves that were moving
across the river towards the shore.
Devin’s burnt orange beak
pecked at his wings, lifting them up to let the water brush them clean.
When he was feeling refreshed, he stuck his copper-colored head under the
water to look for a fish to eat. He spotted a tiny golden yellow one
swimming towards him. As it passed under his beak, he stuck his head
quickly into the water and caught it. He lifted it up into the air, tipped
his long neck backwards and gobbled the fish down. He still felt hungry,
so he stuck his head under the water again. He watched carefully as
another fish headed toward him. He clutched it in his beak and swallowed
it whole. Having his hunger satisfied, he floated on the water, paddling
around, enjoying the feeling of the sun’s warmth on his feathers.
Kady, a tawny brown fish,
swam through the congealed reeds at the bottom of the river. She looked up
and saw the outline of the duck as it swam around above her. She’d seen
him catch fish in his beak and gulp them down voraciously. The mallard
didn’t look like he was paying much attention to what was going on down on
the river bottom, so Kady swam up closer, being careful to stay behind
him. She used her fins to swish her way through the water up to Devin’s
webbed feet. She took a quick nip at his feet and swam right back down to
the reeds where she hid.
Devin felt some pain. He
wondered what it was. He stuck his head under the water and looked at his
feet. There was nothing there. Something had bitten him! He swam around in
a circle with his head under the water, and not seeing anything, went back
to what he was doing.
Kady giggled and blew some
bubbles up to the surface. They burst in silent little pops not far from
where Devin was bobbing. She thought that had been a lot of fun, so she
swam back up to the duck, came up behind him and pulled out one of his
tail feathers with her beak. She held it tightly as she swam back down to
the reeds. She watched intently.
Devin jumped up into the
air when the feather was pulled out. What was that? This time it hurt. He
stuck his head back under the water and looked carefully. He couldn’t see
a thing. There were no fish, no sticks, and no snakes. He couldn’t
understand what had bitten him again. He was just about to lift his head
up when he noticed Kady, the fish, hiding in the reeds. Aha, it was a
fish! Devin decided to let the fish think it had tricked him, but he was
Kady giggled again. She was
having great fun. She blew a lot of bubbles this time. As they popped open
on the surface, Devin saw them. A smile came to his beak as he waited
patiently for the next attack.
Kady decided that this time
she’d be much braver. The duck just didn’t seem smart enough to catch her.
She swam up, but came up underneath the front part of his body. She got
closer and closer. She was only a few inches away from nipping Devin, when
he stuck his head down under the water and caught Kady in his beak. He
started quacking in delight as he raised his head up and swallowed her
As the sun sank behind the
coral pink sand dunes, Devin stretched his wings. He started running on
top of the water, sending small splashes in all directions. When he’d
built up enough speed he soared up into the air and began to flap his
wings. As darkness fell on the river that evening, the duck could be seen
heading towards the horizon, with a mischievous smile on his beak.