Saturday Short: Followed by a Duck

photography of a duck in the middle of a dirt path looking up quizzicallyMoira was tired, sweaty, and had two bug bites that were beginning to itch on her arms. She was also terribly lost even though there was only one path through the woods and there was no reasonable explanation as to how she could have gotten lost on a clear day with no possible chance to go the wrong direction. There was only one path.

But by her own calculations, she had been walking for far too long and never remembered seeing towering bamboo or leaves that could double as parasols on her previous walks through the woods. To add to her bewildering situation, Moira now found herself being paced by a duck. She glanced down to her right and the duck looked up, as if expecting Moira to ask it the time or perhaps offer it a treat. The duck disturbed her, but it hadn’t tried to bite unlike the geese that swam in the village’s pond, so Moira simply kept walking.

“I should be there by now. How ever did I get lost?” Moira sighed and wiped her hand across her forehead before frowning at another bug bite on her hand.

“There are many ways to get lost, but that’s not the important question.”

Moira stopped and turned around to face the duck who looked up at her and seemed to shrug. “Ducks don’t talk.” She shook her head. “How did I get lost and go mad in one morning?”

“Everything talks,” the duck said. “The real question is, how are you going to get back to where you were going as clearly this path isn’t the one in the woods meant for you.”