March 18

A Duck


A Duck

I go walking in the woods at nights. It’s fun, cheap and helps me steal some me-time during the chaos that is family life.

Last night, as usual, I was listening to a podcast during the walk. Even though I was quite occupied with the silky voice and sharp brain of Lex Fridman, I heard a faint quack on my right.

Quack. In March. In Finland. It’s winter. This made zero sense.

But there it was, sitting proudly chest out, stomach in.

I quickly snapped a picture of the glorious beast before it would fly away. But my fears were unwarranted – the little fella had no intentions of flying away (not to mention it had no wings). And what’s more, it was overwhelmingly social!

So we started to chat. I politely paused the podcast and removed the ear buds. I put them in my left jacket pocket.

Turns out, this beautiful Anas platyrhynchos had travelled North just to find out the winter is not quite over yet.

And so the duck had a bit of an issue. No water, no friends to quack with.

So we quacked for a good while together. In fact, this was my first time quacking, ever. But it wasn’t that hard.

We talked about politics, weather and our shared love for oddly-shaped bananas. There are not many oddly-shaped bananas typically in a box of bananas. But when there are, it’s like a little miracle of life.

Anyway, I just wanted to leave this short story of the duck I met here.

Oh, the duck’s name was Herman, in case you’re wondering.

Bye Herman.

About the Author


I lead the Crowd Computing Research Group at the University of Oulu and secretly dream of being a self-development cult leader at Kaizen Hour.

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