Next to the library, one town over from us in a city called Layton (pronounced "Lay-uhn" in these parts, where "t" is often silent), there’s a mammoth-sized park with a beautiful pond. The pond is governed by a mammoth-sized population of ducks, geese, and seagulls. If you bring a bag of day-old bread in the hopes of having an authentic experience with the animal kingdom, you won’t be disappointed. However, your child may lose a few heartbeats running and screaming from a three-foot-tall Canadian Goose. An authentic experience indeed.
After most of our library visits, Jack and I walk to the pond with a bag of bread in tow. The last time we visited, however, I forgot to bring bread.
We approached the pond and saw a woman sitting with her newborn. A dutiful mother, she had remembered to bring her bag of bread. She was tossing torn-off bits of a slice to a hungry huddle of ducks. The woman smiled at us and said hello. Then she lifted her bag toward Jack and asked, "Would you like one?"
The woman tossed a slice of bread toward Jack. It landed on the grass. Before any duck could waddle over, Jack swiped up the slice and took an enormous bite. Mouth full of old bread, he offered a muffled "thank you."
Ah, my little duckling. He’s not too great at sharing yet. But at least he’s polite.
The woman and I laughed despite Jack’s puzzled frown. "Jack," I said, "from now on, I promise to feed you BEFORE we go to the library."