Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

August 17, 2017 If it looks like a duck, it might not be
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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It’s funny, but not so funny, the way we assume everything we see and do should happen the way we think it will or should. Well, not always, but as often as can be reasonably considered to, in such a way.

In my last column I referred to my mother telling me that the ducks I saw huddled together on a farmhouse lawn, as we passed by on our way to town one day, were what I thought they were— ducks; but to me they didn’t look right. After all, I was only four and didn’t see ducks everyday.

She didn’t see them that day, as we rolled past, but to her knowledge they were there because she had seen them on other occasions; I hadn’t.

What was different that day is that they were asleep—with their heads tucked under their wings. I had never seen a feathered creature with its head ‘not there’ such as it was with these ducks.

Now, for a child, that can be a traumatic discovery; one that can re- shape their perception of ‘life’ (if you will) or, on a lesser level, their trust of what is to be believed when he or she is told it is what they are suppose to believe.

It’s NOT FUNNY! Believe me. If it had been funny I would’ve laughed that day, told my best friend about it, and then, promptly forgot it. It wasn’t, I didn’t, and to this day I remain, curiously, distrustful of anything I can’t explain to my satisfaction on the spot…or, at least, within a reasonable amount of time. That might not be the only reason I am this way, because there were plenty more excuses during my life time to add to the list, but it could’ve been the starting point. Really!

Oh, what we can so innocently do to our children. Our perception and their perception can be miles or minutes apart and often we don’t even have the slightest ‘inkling’ it is, and what is going on in their inventive young minds...

This would be a great place to submit a laundry list of examples, and if I had one I would. All I have is the memory of my experience and what it did to me. I’m sure not a day passes without some one among you having an experience with or becoming headed towards examples of how misunderstandings and creative explanations can meld in the minds of some youngsters you know or meet.

When that happens we should not laugh it off as a ‘good joke’ or a ‘funny thing’ to exchange over coffee and conversation with a friend or co-worker; but to think about it long enough to make it as ‘real’ appearing as it did in the mind of the young person involved. Maybe a duck isn’t a duck after all…it could be what I feared: something I couldn’t deal with; something not right; something just not the way it should be…

NOTE: My mother might not have been well school educated, but was well read; loved poetry and ‘people’ stories.

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