Many things can attack your garbage. Street dogs and cats are common perpetrators. And rats of course. In Banff, Canada, garbage tins are padlocked and cemented to protect them from Grizzly bears. But here in fairy tale Delft, this vicious felony was committed by a duck.
I kid you not; a duck. The kind that went ‘quack, quack’ on Old McDonald’s farm. The kind that makes for a yummy gourmet meal (okay, that’s just revenge talking).
But, before the duck can enter this story, the trash must. So here goes…
It was a fine Wednesday morning. Trash day in our part of the City Centre. I put my black garbage bag out, rush to get ready for work and run out. Only to remember a little way ahead that I’ve forgotten my laptop charger.
It must have a been a matter of minutes before I turn around the corner to my house. Something looks odd. A duck is standing next to my garbage bag. Now, Delft is full of ducks, but I’ve only seen them around the canals. Never bang in the city centre. As my mind processes this aberration, I notice something else. The duck seems to be pecking on the plastic bag.
“No, that can’t be right,” I think.
(It must be noted, that on account of trying to be on time for my meeting, I had skipped my usual cup of morning tea.)
I walk closer, noticing that the duck’s pecking is really forceful. There’s a flurry of things on the ground. But I can’t make out much yet. I’m more fascinated by the duck anyway. His pecking is repetitive, almost hypnotic.
“Huh? Can a duck really tear a hole in plastic? It can’t be that strong,” mumbles my brain.
“Oh look, things are coming out of the bag. Things are coming out… what!!!”
By this point I can see a giant tear in the bag, one the duck’s beak can go inside-out of without any hassle. He’s no longer pecking. Now he’s trying to pull out what looks suspiciously like a banana peal.
“Shoo!” I think in my head. Unable to bring myself to actually say “shoo” to a duck. For some reason my brain has its own idea of duck-appropriate decorum. It takes another few split seconds to decide what words to use.
The masterpiece I finally come up with is: “Hey!!”
“Hey!!” I shout, in what my brain thinks is a duck-appropriate accent. “Hey Duckie!”
Duckie looks up and nonchalantly waddles away. Leaving me with aluminium foil, leftover Doner kebab wrapping, and other garbage whirling about my feet. Thankfully the wind is not too strong and I don’t have too run far to collect everything.
I ring my doorbell furiously. Hoping my sleeping husband will take over the garbage recovery. No response. Loose trash in the left hand, tearing bag held up by the right foot, I locate the keys in my pocket and open the front door. I rush up the landing, calling for back up.
“Akshay, the duck attacked our garbage!” I shout, frantic that someone else join my morning drama.
“Byyyeeeeeee!! have a nice daaaaay” comes a muffled sound from the bedroom upstairs. Akshay is obviously fast asleep and Delft hath no duck that can wake him up.
“Byyyyeeee” he shouts again.
I briefly consider going up to the bedroom and waking him up, but I’m more paranoid that the duck will come back for my garbage bag. I rush down, retie the bag, do a quick scan for Duckie Dearest and rush for the station. Worried the whole time about Duck Attack Part II.
But I’m already late and can’t stick around. Of course I also get the slowest train available. I finally arrived 35 minutes after schedule, slightly embarrassed by how bizarre my tale sounds. Seriously, how does one walk into a meeting and say, “Actually, a duck attacked my garbage”.