Dead Duck


Arkansas is the only state where yo-yos are legal. Or so I hear. For those not in the know, yo-yos are fishing lines you hang from tree limbs and just leave there. They're spring-loaded, so if a fish bites, the yo-yo reels it in like magic. When you paddle out to check your yo-yos later on, after a good night's sleep or some beer, the fish is there waiting for you.

We've caught a lot of big catfish this way--but a few days ago, there was a duck on the line.

The poor thing. It drowned dive-bombing for the bait. Mark brought it in to the house with the intent to dress it. Our neighbor, who is an authority on ducks and deer and fryin fish and all things natural and southern, said that the breasts are good eatin.

Mark set it on the kitchen counter. The cats meowed at our ankles. And my inner goth teenager came out. Here was death, staring me in the face, the stiffened corpse of a duck who died for nothing. Like all of us! Doomed!

It was the dead of winter, with snow on the ground in Arkansas. The trees were bare; ice hung from the gutters; the duck was dead.

I took pictures. We decided it'd be too much trouble to extract the breast. Mark threw the duck back into the lake. I ran upstairs to put on black eyeliner.


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