Donkey or Duck?
A mule is the hybrid of a male donkey and a female horse. There is a misconception that all mules are males, when in fact, most mules are infertile, whether male or female. It has been said that mules are “more patient, sure-footed, hardy and long-lived than horses, and they are considered less obstinate, faster, and more intelligent than donkeys.” (thank you, Wikipedia).
Still, when I contemplate the Missouri state animal, which is not all that often, I prefer to call it a donkey. Two reasons: 1) The word donkey has one more syllable than mule and I like longer words, and 2) Donkey provides alliteration with the word duck.
Here in my new home state of Texas, specifically in the area where I live, there are several species of waterfowl thanks to a beautiful man-made lake and canal nearby.
So what’s with all this animal and bird husbandry?
Mules/donkeys are pack animals, beasts of burden. When trained or coaxed, they can haul the burdens on their backs for great distances and sometimes under severe conditions.
As for ducks, you’ve heard the expression, “water off a duck’s back?” Turns out ducks have a gland in their tail feathers that produces oil that when spread over their bodies via their beaks, makes them waterproof.
Still with me?
The truth is there were instances when she wasn’t there for me, when she didn’t care for me as a mother should. I’ve made peace with her imperfections and realize that she and dad did the best they could with me as a little girl.
Today I only care about my relationship with Mom’s spirit. She is everything I want her to be now except, of course, she’s not physically present with me. But when I need her, she’s there. No hesitation. No judgment. No condemnation.
I know that everything I feel for her originates in my heart where the truth of my being joins with Mom in a mystical embrace. The angel connects with the once-lost child, the soul that grows more and more into a woman who wonders about the strangest things.
During times of trouble, when I want my mom more than ever, do I respond like a donkey or a duck? Do I plod along with worry and heartache strapped to my back, or do I let the conditions roll off my back even as I’m paddling like hell through frigid waters while ice pellets drop around me?
Seems like an easy answer, doesn’t it? But, I did live in Missouri first . . .
Are you mostly like a donkey or a duck?