One Duck At A Time

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?


Salmon Point beach and campground in Bridgton, Maine on that early summer morning was idyllic, with maroon picnic tables staggered along the lake’s edge and sand bridging the distance. A simplistic playground with a swing set and some monkey bars sat in the grass just beyond the tables. As I searched for a playmate, I noticed a flock of ducks running in chaos from a redheaded boy close at their heels- as if death itself chased behind them. I assumed he just wanted the ducks away from his area. As soon as I saw the first rock in his hand, I leapt to my feet. I sprinted as fast as my small legs could carry me, pebbly rocks numbing my feet.

Witnessing the fear etched onto the faces of the ducks nearby, I was determined to make him stop somehow. I skidded to halt just before crashing into his bent body. He was searching for more rocks.

“Leave the ducks alone!” I shouted. He stood and gazed at me, my feet covered in wet sand, my lungs working hard, my head just clearing his shoulders. Laughing, he turned the rocks over in his hands. He spun and threw one rock, sending it cutting through the air towards some resting ducks. I held my breath, anger surging through me. The rock hit an oak tree. I exhaled. I had decided to let it go and...

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