Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor
Say, let us put man and woman together,
Find out which one is smarter
Paul wasn’t sure, but the five-foot duck waddling through the throngs of laughing, crying, shouting, whining children appeared to be waddling toward him – a duck with a destination and, perhaps, a mission. Chances are it had spotted him scowling in a land where grinning is the norm, and it, by God, meant to do something about it.
“Enjoying the Magic Kingdom?” asked the duck upon reaching him. Despite its carefully sculpted plastic smile, this duck wasn’t going to cheer anyone up; its voice dripped sarcasm.
“Of course, I am,” Paul answered, adopting his very own duck attitude. “Isn’t that why you’re here? By the way, didn’t I somewhere get the idea that you’re all supposed to be pleasant and cheerful?”
“I’m not even supposed to talk. Just wave.” The duck waved and, in silence, could have passed for pleasant and cheerful, albeit of a fabricated sort.
“Then why did you talk to me?” Paul asked.
“Because you look bored – like you positively hate the place.”
“Ah, you’re not just an ordinary duck, you’re a member of the happiness squad, here to lift my spirits.”
“No,” answered the duck. “I thought you might have a cigarette.”
“That’s an interesting deduction.”
“Well, do you?”
“May I have one?” the duck asked, sitting next to him on the bench.
“Certainly. I’ve never seen a duck smoke before. Rabbits maybe, hedgehogs maybe, but never a duck. Some people might find that a bit weird.”
“I think most people would agree that what’s really weird is someone talking to a duck.”
“You could be right,” said Paul, extending a cigarette pack. “Be my guest. I’m filled with anticipation, uh . . . is it Daisy?”
“Huey,” said the duck, taking a cigarette. “Or maybe Louie. No, it’s definitely Huey. Will you take my head off, please?”
Paul reached over to take hold of the duck’s head but the duck jumped up and said: “Whoa, not now. It’s the evil chipmunk. Gotta go.”
The duck waddled off at full throttle as the chipmunk came running past Paul. The chipmunk quickly caught the duck by the back of its jacket, but the duck wheeled around and delivered a right cross to the chipmunk’s smiling face. The chipmunk fell to the ground, and the duck disappeared into the crowd. Paul stared at the ground, hoping the chipmunk would quietly go away, and that he would not be pulled into the middle of an interspecies squabble.
A few minutes passed, and the Kingdom appeared to be back to its normal happy self when Paul felt a tapping on his shoulder, and a voice from behind said: “Quack.”