The Duck Pond Incident

This is the accurate, true account of the day Deacon Swain was fished out of the Duck Pond, Father’s Day ’09. Deacon’s parents had gone to the church that afternoon to take care of some unfinished tasks. Deacon and his older brother were spending quality family time with their grandfather and grandmother.

It should be noted that his Mama D, as she is fondly called, had filled her grandsons with the excitement of walking the 50 yards or so to the small Duck Pond “to feed the ducks.” The prospect of feeding the ducks at the neighborhood pond brings her a daily joy and satisfaction like no other. Papa D also went to the pond that day.


There are about 25 domesticated, semi-domesticated, wild, injured and convalescing ducks generally hanging out at the pond year round. Some people apparently feed these ducks regularly so they will not ever go to the big pond two blocks away. The geese do come and go. The Duck Pond is not very clean.

That afternoon we found the ducks, including a new mother with seven ducklings, luxuriating along the shaded banks of the pond. Some ate a little bit of the bread, but most were too hot or too full to bother with it. A crippled goose, though, did come close to Deacon and eat small pieces of bread he was thrown. This delighted everyone.


Soon Mama D focused mainly on the ducklings, and some of them began to eat her bread. Deacon and Carter followed their grandfather over to the shaded benches to try their luck at feeding the fish. This was quite successful. Papa D sat on the short little rock bench and handed bread to the boys. The older one skillfully threw the bread stirring up the fish. Deacon was having a harder time getting his bread to land in the water when suddenly he lunged forward with a big step and mighty throw. He lost his balance on that steep bank, falling on his right side, then rolling ever faster down into the pond.

If this had been a movie, the stunt double would have stepped in to take Deacon’s place. The downhill roll would have taken place in slow motion. Papa D would have been quick as lightning to stop the rolling 2-year-old before he landed in the water. But, alas, it was not so.

Deacon sputtered with surprise as his half-submerged head came up out of the water. His grandfather got down into the water and pulled the soaked boy out. He checked Deacon’s algae covered face and limbs for any signs of injury. Wiped his face fairly clean and held him close while taking him back to the road and on to the house. Mama D noticed that Papa D and Deacon were all wet and asked why. Deacon never said a word.

After a fun bath, Deacon enjoyed a pleasant evening with his grandparents and brother while waiting the return of his parents. They noticed Deacon’s clothes were different and asked questions.

This is the accurate, true account of the day I fished Deacon Swain out of the Duck Pond.

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