“Taz and Duck- Duck”

By Doug Fincher

   In August of 2010, my daughter Caralee called from New York: “Dad, Mark has been in an accident. He might not be alive”. We got to the Atlanta hospital at 3:00 in the morning and found my son Mark alive but with several back injuries and his left leg had been dismembered from his body.  A passer-by tied a bungee cord above his kneeand kept him from bleeding to death. When Mark left the hospital two weeks later, he decided to move back to East Texas.  

   He bought a house a few miles from Tenaha, Texas and brought Taz, his beloved Border Collie, with him.  Hebought several baby ducks and put them in the small pondbehind his house. They became Mark’s close friends and he fed them every day at the patio door. But later the ducks began to disappear and eventually he had only one left. He named her “Duck-Duck”. This duck, Taz and Mark became so close that they actually took naps together in the yard.

      Every time there was a thunder storm, Taz would run upstairs and hide under the bed.  After a rain storm one night, Mark went upstairs to get her, but she wasn’t under the bed.  The wind had blown a door shut making itimpossible for her to go upstairs.  Mark called me with a tear in his voice…”I’ve looked everywhere”, he sobbed. ”Taz is gone”.

    A year later, Mark called:  “Dad, when I walked to the patio this morning, a beautiful red fox was standing in the middle of the frozen pond within five feet of “Duck-Duck.”“When he saw me, you should have seen him trying to get enough traction to get off that ice.” “If I hadn’t seen him, he would have surely caught Duck-Duck since she can’t fly”.

    When I call Mark, I always ask about Duck-Duck but when I called last week, I knew something was wrong.  He paused for a moment and slowly replied, “Dad, she’s gone. I haven’t seen her in two days….I’ve looked everywhere for her”.

It is wonderful that we can become that attached to animals… and so sad when they’re gone.  Mark said today that he plans to get another puppy…and a duck.  I hope he does.            

Their company will be good for him.


Daily News Ninja

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