The Fourth Duck from the End

Tucker Spolter

Quack, Quack, my name is Jack

I’m the fourth duck from the end.

Not quite at the rear, I'm right between

My sister June and my brother Ben.

 

Quack, Quack, Quack, it’s still hazy,

Why just behind Mom is our sister Daisy

Or why Tom is second, is still unclear.

No one knows quite how he got there.

 

Quack, I didn’t want to be at the end.

I’m quite happy between June and Ben.

Last in line through no design

Is my favorite sister Adeline.

 

Adie is wonderful, feathers of green and  blue,

Everyone who meets her, loves her too.

Adeline prefers her ‘nick’ name Adie,

And all of us call her that gladly.

 

Quack, Quack, Quack,

 

Adie is always the last duck to turn left or right. 

Last to dip underwater and disappear from sight.

But she was always the first to laugh,

And join in our family quack, quack, quack.

When we swim on our pond, paddling fast and free,  

It’s Mom, Daisy, Tom, June, Jack, Ben and Adie.   

 

Then safe in our nest, one moon lit night.

Adie looked at me with tears in her eyes.

She tried to quack, instead trembled, “Jack.”

Tears fell, “Why, why, why, am I always in back?”

Quack? Quack? Quack?

I was stunned. I was taken aback

I didn't know how to answer that.

 

We wrapped our wings around each other,

My favorite sister and her favorite brother.

Bright the moon shone, warm in our huddle

Feather to feather in our special family cuddle.

 

Adie’s bill quivered, “Jack, is it just bad luck.”

I don’t know why; why I am the last duck.

The sixth duck, the furthest from Mom.

She’s so far away suppose I came to harm?

Quack? Quack? Quack?

When our family paddles left; if I paddle right.

I turn, and you've all disappeared from sight.” 

Then I waddle and paddle so fast to find you.  

Which is what any duck would do.

Wouldn't you too?

 

Quack? 

Adie brushed a wing against mine.  

“Jack, I don’t want to be last all the time.

Why couldn’t I be number three or four?

Or one number less? Or one number more?

 

Quack? Quack?

       Jack can you help?  We’re best friends.

       Help me move forward, away from the end.”

 

I talked to Daisy, Mom, June and Ben,

Then met with Tom and Adie again.

There was a lot of quack, quack quacking

As we gathered beneath the moon that night.

Girl ducks on the left and boys ducks on the right.

Decisions were made with a "quack" or a the nod of a head,

Tomorrow would be different everyone said.

 

Returning to our nest, June quacked, so did Daisy and Ben;

Tom, Mom, Adie and I followed, then went to bed.

 

If you come to our pond and search for our flock,

Walk over the bridge or sit on our dock,

Look out on the water, and among the reeds, and

We’ll be the ducks paddling in fours, two and threes.

Quack. Quack. Quack. 

 

Now in our family, no duck’s at the end.

We paddle in pairs as we twist and bend.

There might be two ducks behind Mom.  

Tom and Daisy, 

Jack and Adie or

June and Ben

Please give us a "Quack" and we’ll "Quack" right back.

Hope to see you soon,

Remember

My name is Jack.

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© 2019 Tucker Spolter