Stinging wind whips my hair to the front of my face. I stop, off balance. Pushing my hair away from my eyes, I walk down the wooden steps into the garden. I must escape from the computer, and look for a way to continue the story I’m trying to create. I’m totally stuck right now.
The chill in the air contrasts with the bright sun on the early daffodils. They’re stiff from the blustery gusts, protecting themselves so they aren’t forced over. The small spring at the edge of the lawn shines in the early morning light. Trees are still in bud so there’s little shade to block the water’s luster.
“Hello,” says a voice.
I turn quickly. There’s a gate at the end of the driveway and no one could get in without me noticing a car enter.
There’s no sign of anyone here. I’m getting nervous. What could be the matter with me? I’m not the sort to hear voices. I’ve always been very grounded.
“Hi – pretty cold out here, eh?”
There’s a little movement from a bunny, that blends in with the plants that are still dormant this early spring day. But bunnies don’t talk. Only Disney does that.
I turn and look around in every direction, every place I can think of. There’s just that rabbit, almost motionless, attempting to hide from a potential predator – me. After all, I don’t like rabbits in the garden. They eat delicate plants and are only good in children’s books.
The bunny gazes straight ahead, happily chewing on some grass growing near the small stream. It’s obvious this animal has said nothing.
“What are you doing out here without a coat?”
My neck jerks to the left and right. I still see nothing. I smell nothing. Nothing touches me.
I’m getting very nervous.
Behind a large rock, left eons ago by the glaciers that passed through this part of the world, a duck waddles into view.
“I’m the one talking, in case you hadn’t figured it out. That bunny is way too stupid to express himself,” the duck quacked.
“You’re a duck – a mallard. How can you talk?” I ask.
“Easy for me, but not for other ducks. I have a bigger brain and my nervous system is wired differently.”
I gulp and wonder if this is a dream and I’m still in my bed.
“I’ve been sent to give you a wakeup call — and you’re not sleeping. You’re outside in the cold, looking at the daffodil over there and hoping for inspiration. I’m here to jostle you out of sitting around, accomplishing nothing,” the duck stated. “You’ve got to get out of the doldrums and put a zing in your thoughts.”
“All right,” I say, swallowing hard.
“Go on inside now. Think about me and the brainless bunny over there. Think about the yellow daffodil. Relax and let your mind wander – and wonder about what’s real and what’s not,” said the duck.
And so I turned and walked out of the cold, up the stairs to my office – and did just that.