Friday, April 3, 2009


So sometimes I do stuff before I think about the consequences. There are certain things in life you can do only in that impulsive frame of mind. One of them is buying a pet. From guinea pigs to turtles, I have acquired many pets in my life, and I usually regret it. The smell of urine soaked wood shavings and reptilian poop will do that.

Galya joined our family last April, around this time of year. She proved to be quite the handful as a duckling, constantly chirping and doing that excrement thing. She grew pretty fast, however, and became a regular fixture in the yard.

There have been moments when I've regretted buying Galya. Most of those moments were in the winter when she was freezing her tush off and we didn't really know what to do for her. She'd frequently stand out on the front patio quacking to the world about the frigid loneliness of winter. We tried building a duck house, bought her a heating blanket and even considered letting her live in the storage room. Somehow she survived the freezing temperatures, and since the thaw she's been pretty well behaved.

We've tried introducing her to the botany pond south of campus, but it never goes over well. She runs (or swims) from the other ducks, and when we leave her there she wanders into the road or parking lot across the street. Last time we found her a 100 yards east of the pond under a parked car. She's just not fit for the wild. She's forgotten she's a duck.

So we've taken drastic measures. That duck's only chance of making it is to have a friend -- another duck. Yesterday we were doing some shopping before I headed down to Hurricane to shadow my uncle. We were in So Pro and Ashton got a text from her friend who was at the IFA store -- "They have black ducks!" We jetted over there to see them, and before we knew it, we had purchased not only a black duck, but a yellow one too. We figured they'd be good company for each other, and they might have a remedial effect on Galya.

After leaving the store we started to feel the weight of our decision sink in. Yeah, we knew there might be trouble upstairs, but we hoped for a degree of tolerance. Plus ducklings aren't as loud as adults, and they won't disturb the neighbors. We took them home and set up a little cage for them in the bedroom. We wanted to keep it covert for a while, so we put some music on to drown out their chirping. However, the idea of leaving them while I left for shadowing just didn't sit well with me, because if they were discovered, I wanted to be there to explain. So a half hour before I left I made the decision to take them with me.

At 6:40 I was filling up at a gas station with two ducklings in the backseat. We hit the road, and I sang and they chirped in unison with Ben Gibbard and James Mercer. After a long, rainy, windy drive we arrived at my uncle's residence in Hurricane. He was cool with storing my odd cargo in the garage, and I asked him to keep it on the downlow.

7:30 the next morning I got a text from my dad, indicating that they knew. It had leaked on the facebook and there was quite an uproar. Geez. Here I was trying to focus on physician shadowing and my pants kept buzzing with texts pleading with me to abandon my babies. It was annoying, to say the least.

Resolution? Well the wolves must be sated, and my uncle conveniently lives in a rural area with a large plot, a swimming pool, and three kids who are more than willing to take care of Gertrude and Gleb. Am I bitter? Absolutely. But whatever. I'll come see them in May.


  1. i really am sorry about gertrude and gleb. i wish the house was on acreage in pleasant grove except that it wouldn't be nearly as convenient a location for you being in school. its sweet to realize even more what a nurturing guy you are. i can't wait to see you with samuel.

    i hope you'll forgive us for our concerns. love you.

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