It’s coming on to the ducking hour and I’m just returning from a final quick walk with my floppy-eared duck hunter. At this time of day, the creatures of the night are getting into position. They take advantage of those who cannot see in the dark, of those who require artificial light to guide them because of their habitual over-dependence on one sense. They sneak up from behind with their marsupial vision and often scare the be-geezes out of them.

This is the dark zone in which Gaea’s subconscious comes alive and tries to connect with like minds in their state of total relaxation. But humanity would rather have sight than have vision, so we stay “awake” and fumble in the dark with a flashlight, afraid of disturbing whatever may lurk there.

That’s why it’s good to have some ducks around. The Gangnam procession (see The Ducks Are Quacking) act as your interpreters while you sleep. They have no evil plan to keep you ignorant of the shadows that take refuge in the corners of your mind. They duck them out, feather off the dust for you, polish them up with their bellies, and present them to you in the waking hour as irresistible golden eggs. We love our bling!

The night is a dimension for heightened awareness which most humans have not developed. Dogs on the other hand slip into obscurity quite well. Lola relishes the new world that emerges after the sun goes down. She sticks her nose to the ground and loses her puppy A.D.D. This is when her prey drive makes her mute, deaf, and blind. She’s the canine arrow sniffing her way to a target in the distance that I can barely see a shadow of. It looks promising though. The creature is waddling. Show me the bling. Hurray…

…or not. Lola finds a racoon instead and chases it up a tree, dragging my severed arm with her. Wrong species. I’d better steer clear of this one in case a duck comes by. The little bandit will likely steal the golden egg then I’ll have to summon Duck Norris to get it back. Shudder. I already had that epic battle.

I survey the street, the city trees and flower beds, and the park for the waddling species we are really out here for, but there is not a shade of yellow to speak of.  Even though the evening is pleasantly and unseasonably warm, perhaps the ducks have started their southbound journey anyway. There certainly are no signs of webbed feet leading in or out of my condo building on this rainy night.

A quick tilt of the head upwards towards my living room window shows it intact and nobody lies unconscious at the foot of the building either (that would be on a Saturday night). Oh well, nap time for little Lola then.

As I reach the front door I notice muddy footprints on the walkway leading up to it. My upstairs neighbour’s grandchild must be visiting today. The trail looks like a rubber boot mud puddle explosion. I’m going to have to mention something to the condo board about the failings of the splash mat.

I tiptoe Lola around the filthy lobby and open the hallway door. There too the carpet is soiled with hurried boot prints. And the stairwell? Honestly, didn’t they think to take the kid’s boots off first? How rude!

I open the door to the stairwell and the gunk is still making its mark all the way up to my floor then into the hallway. How could someone track in so much mud? Did they wade through a marsh? And what the?

Lola runs straight to our door and starts sniffing the inside of a small pair of rubber boots parked right on the welcome mat. I immediately check the door. It’s still locked and there is no sign of forced entry.  Hmmm.

My loyal pooch shares my confusion. She cocks her head sideways and I turn off my smartphone playing positive affirmations (my intellectual bling): I am so happy and grateful now that…yeah, now that my mystery guest had the decency to remove her boots! Then I hear it— the sound of someone ransacking the place.

At this point I’m thinking: “Now would be a good time to call 911,” but something else inside me says: “just go in with Lola growling and bearing teeth.” So I open the door and the racket stops.

We enter the den. The bookshelves are completely empty. The floor however is not. There are books EVERYWHERE. Even the top shelf I need a ladder to get to are wiped clean. For something with such small boots they must have long arms…or…

…you guessed it. They can fly.

That’s the last feather! “Lola,” I command, “go find that feathery felon and bring her back.” And off she goes in prey drive heaven searching for the little quack.

Meanwhile, I start picking up the mess as I recall Cleaning Up The Duck Guck on another occasion. At least the books are still in decent shape. No pages missing, no ripped covers, but hang a sec. There’s a book missing.

“Qua qua quack!”

My fearless poodle strikes again. Here she comes with the mischievous little waddler carrying the missing book in her beak. Lola drops her onto the ground and waits for my enthusiastic approval. “Good Girl, Sweetie!” Big huge tummy rub.

I turn my attention to the little duckling now hiding the stolen treasure under her wing and stick out my hand. “Give it over.” She complies reluctantly as Lola’s open mouth approaches…to lick her toes, of course.

“I’m just looking for the answer to a question,” she explains in her tiny voice.

“You didn’t have turn my library into a war zone. You could have just waited outside the building and asked me.“

“I’m metaphorical remember? You’d be talking to yourself in public.” She plops herself on my couch and wiggles her slobber infested webbed toes, pleased with herself. “I took my boots off.”

Her big innocent eyes look up at me and with childlike simplicity she states: “Besides, If you knew the answer then I wouldn’t have the question.”

“Really.” I don’t care how cute she thinks she is batting her little eyelids like she’s some sort of angel. This duckling is starting to irritate me.

“Well, I have read all of these books so maybe YOU are just too distracted dancing around Gangnam style in my brain (see The Ducks Are Quacking) and missed some spots.”

She shakes her head back and forth. “I’m the smallest of all your ducklings, I can squeeze into all sorts of dark places…see?” She aims for the open book on the floor and disappears into it. A few seconds later her beak emerges and says: “Peekaboo!” Then she disappears again. Lola goes wild…play time.

OK. So this duckling is looking for an answer to a question that still lies in a book I read? A question that lurks in the shadows of my mind that I am desperately seeking an answer to but which I am unable to find because I am actually blinded by the light which stops me from seeing the question in the first place?

To that, her head pokes out and says: “Yes! But with one correction. It’s the bling blinding you. With every book you read you are looking for that golden nugget. Even with us ducks, you are always looking for gold…you are obsessed with gold. Your last duckisode post was even called The Golden Hatchery! What if the gold is a lump of coal instead? Then you miss it.”

She pops out of the book and closes it so that I can see the cover: The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.

“You still have some anger bottled up inside you.” She hands me a dust mask, a set of white coveralls, and some goggles and a fresh set of rubber boots just like hers. “Now go back in there and don’t come out until you’re covered in soot. I haven’t reach puberty yet so that’s all you get from me…no egg for you tonight.”

And poof! She disappears with a puff of black smoke.

How about you? Care to go mining in the dark for the answer to your question?

You know the question…it’s the question that drives you.