Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gladys, Bunch, and Millicent

Several years ago, I stayed in the Airport Plaza Hotel in Nevada.  I found a flier with a story inside in the room.  I thought the story was cute and kept it.  I was going through some things today and came across it, so I thought I would share it.  It always makes me laugh:

Gladys, Bunch, and Millicent are best of duck friends.  They live, protected from the wind, in our lovely courtyard.  Their home has grassy knolls, flowering gardens, and a sparkling bath. 

People from places far and near watch them through windows that look into the courtyard.  Children who look out the windows always laugh and clap their hands. 
Because it is beautiful, people often walk in the courtyard, and many feed the ducks. 

Gladys, Bunch, and Millicent have 10 well-balanced meals each day…perhaps too well-balanced.  Gladys is plump.  To be honest, she is fat—too fat to fly.  And Gladys used to be miserable.  Her friends would try to cheer her up.  One morning they even put a flower on her doorstep.

“Gladys,” they said, “You must count your blessings.” 

But Gladys couldn’t count.  That made her sadder.

“I want to fly,” she lamented.  “I must get over the wall.  Things might be better out there.”

Bunch and Millicent shook their heads.  Gladys flapped her wings.  They shook and she flapped.  The harder they shook the more she flapped.  All that shaking and flapping bent the daisies to the ground and blew the roses off a summer rose bush.  Then, something amazing happened.  Gladys started “up”.  She rose, not gracefully, but definitely u-p and o-v-e-r the wall.

“There,” puffed Gladys.  “That’s better.”

But it wasn’t.  There were curious dogs to dodge and speeding autos at webbed-foot level.  Baths were in unpleasant places called puddles, and they were of all things—gritty.  As for well-balanced meals, people just threw things, and it wasn’t always food.  More than once she distinctly heard herself referred to as “the pudge.”  And no one ever gave her a flower.

“I want to go back,” said Gladys.  “If I did it once,” she thought, “I can do it again,” which was an uncommonly wise thought for a duck like Gladys. 

She flapped and flapped, and flapped.  O-h so slowly she rose u-p and o-v-e-r the wall.  Back in the courtyard, Bunch and Millicent greeted her with open wings.

“Gladys,” they cried.  “We missed you!”

“I missed you, too!” puffed Gladys between duck hugs.  “I’m so glad to be back.  I still can’t count my blessings, but now I know what they are.”

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