|Lessons from nature*
||[May. 11th, 2004|10:16 pm]
Yesterday evening I decided to do my final review of my Property outline while sitting on the swing in the back yard. I was about halfway through it when two mallard ducks, a male and a female, appeared over the garage roof and dropped into the grass. They were clearly in the middle of a mating ritual, and continued the dance unconcerned by my presence. The female was attempting to present to the male for mating, but he was focused on the dance.
A few moments later a second mallard male flew into the yard. Without hesitation he leapt upon the clearly unwilling female, clamped his beak onto the back of her neck and raped her. She attempted escape to no avail.
Only when the dastardly deed was all but finished did our dashing hero even seem to realize what was going on and make an attempt at disengaging the interloper.
Immediately upon being freed from the grip of Mr. Quickie, the female tried once again to get the drake of her dreams to mate with her (it's not unusual for ducks to be fertilized by more than one drake). She went back to mating behavior and practically threw herself at her man. Alas, he was far too interested in the dance and the moment passed. Eventually she got bored, and afer a while he gave up the dance, and eventually they flew away, together but not mated. He will probably stay by her and help her raise the young of the lethario, all because he let opportunity go by.
I was reminded of another encounter with ducks, this time along the Koyukuk River in Alaska, wild river we were floating in canoes. During the course of the week we were there we saw no signs of human life other than the one other party of canoists we passed. No power lines, no bridges, no buildings.
Two mother ducks. When ducklings are little and defenseless, a mother duck will distract predators by pretending to be wounded and leading the threat away from her babies with a great show of distress, then fly back to the young. The first mother duck we encountered led us a long way down river, gabbling and fretting, her allegedly broken wing splashing pathetically. The second got us just a few dozen yards downstream and then returned to her babies.
Momma One had two surviving ducklings. Momma Two had about a dozen. Greta Garbo hystrionics were impressive, but left the babies exposed to whatever else might be on the prowl.
Sometimes a good show is all fluff and no substance. Don't let the moment pass while you're getting ready for it. I can't go out/look for a better job/dump my loser boyfriend/go back to school/move out of the house until I make more money/lose wieght/work through my issues/find someone else/blahblahblahblah. If you don't reach out for the brass ring, if you don't take chances, don't be surprised when someone else swoops in and takes them instead. Don't get so caught up in the preparation that you lose track of what you're preparing for.
Life doesn't wait for you.
*Because calling it "DUCK RAPE!!!" would be tacky.