Our beautiful Mill is surrounded by water. Upon opening our French windows to the morning we are greeted by a symphony of wildlife. The tropical green parrots, the many different ducks, the resident heron and swans all compete with the jumping fish and the bull frogs that are as loud as cicadas. Joining the orchestra are these unusual red-beaked duck birds that propel forward in the water by thrusting their heads just like a chicken. They have a peculiar cluck that they repeat throughout the day. And night. Or so we thought. These cute little birds soon became an ongoing irritation with their rhythmic squeaking 24/7.
I ruminated how to get rid of these annoying chicken ducks. Perhaps I could find their nests and move it down stream. Maybe I could discourage it with a bee-bee gun. Or maybe I could consider… bird murder. But what would my neighbours think? They apparently were not bothered at all. I concluded those little chicken devils had made a nest just below our window just to drive us mad.
After enduring 8 months of ongoing clucking, while sitting on our sofa under the beautiful large industrial clock with exposed workings, it finally dawned on us. It was not the chicken ducks that was driving us mad but rather the squeaking rhythmic gears of the clock above our heads.
We had done this to ourselves!
I then thought “How many other things in life are not as they seem?”. And how many countless hours do we spend in frustrated irritation of our own devises? So much is “lost in translation” in different languages, different cultures, different outlooks, or different life experiences.
So, what gem of wisdom can I glean from those cute little red-beaked ducks?
· Give people the benefit of the doubt
· Don’t rush to conclusions
· Be gracious with others (including ducks)
· Beware - All is not what it seems
Just think I could have been a murder!