Male Ducks are Drake, Females are Hens by John Weagly

Two women sit at a table at a sidewalk café.

“Did you kill my husband?” Mary asks.

“What?” Paula responds.

“You did, didn’t you?”

“Such a question!”

“You did.”


“Tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

“It would feel good to get it off your chest.”

“As in ‘There!  There!  It is the beating of his hideous heart!’?”

“Something like that,” Mary agrees.

Silence for a moment.

“It’s just…” Mary says.  “I haven’t seen him in weeks.”

“Weeks?” Paula asks.



“Four weeks?  Yes!”

“From this very spot,” Paula says, “It takes a duck four weeks to fly south
for the winter.”

Mary has no response.

“Maybe he’s gone,” Paula says.



Mary looks confused.  “If I just knew,” she says.

“If you just knew what?”


“There are over five hundred species of duck.”

“No.  Details.  About my husband.”


“I don’t know!  Like…was it a gun?”


“A knife?”

“I don’t think so.”

“A chunk of rope?”

Paula thinks for a moment. “Does rope come in a chunk?”

Mary thinks for a moment.  “I don’t know.”

The two women think about this for a moment.

Mary says, “There were times.”

“A honeymoon?”

“A beach.”

“On the ocean?”

“On a lake.”

“A walk in the sand?”

“We walked hand in hand.”

“Very romantic.”

“We were in love.”

“Was it supposed to last forever?”

“A long time ago,” Mary says.

Then nobody speaks for a moment.

“If I just knew,” Mary tries again.  “Things.  About him.  About us.”

“About marriage?”

“Oh, I know some things about marriage.”


“Separations aren’t final.”


“A divorce can linger for years and years.”


“And the lawyer fees!”

“The court costs!”

“Such expense!” Mary says.  “Other avenues are far more economical.”

“I know some things, too,” Paula says.

“About my husband?”

“I know a duck’s quack doesn’t echo.”

“My husband is not a duck.”

“No,” Paula agrees.  “He’s not.”

The two women sit quietly for a moment.

“It could be that he’s just gone,” Paula says.

More silence.

“Why?” Mary asks.

“Why what?”

“Why doesn’t a duck’s quack echo?”

“No one knows.”

Even more silence.

“Did you kill him?” Mary asks.  “Did you kill my husband?”

Paula doesn’t answer.

“I won’t be mad but I have to know.”

Paula doesn’t answer.

“I won’t tell anyone.  I’ll be as quiet as a duck’s quack.”

“The quack isn’t quiet,” Paula explains.  “It just doesn’t echo.”

Mary thinks about this.

“Your husband is gone,” Paula says.


“He’s not coming back.  You won’t be seeing him again.  He’s gone.”

Mary takes a checkbook out of her purse and starts writing a check.

“You said half up front and half after.”

“I did.”

Mary tears off the check and hands it to Paula.

“Thank you,” Mary says.  “You do good work.”  Then she leaves.

“Ducks don’t have blood vessels or nerves in their feet,” Paula says to
herself as she pockets the check.  “They can’t tell when something’s cold.”

One response to “Male Ducks are Drake, Females are Hens by John Weagly

  1. Very cool. Nice work. Now I have to look up duck facts…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s