Dory the Duck

(This is the 20th anniversary of Dory the Duck.)

Over the Memorial Day weekend of 2001, an injured mallard landed in our backyard. We gave her food and water, bought a little swimming pool, and named her Dory. Over time she began to trust us and even our cat, who wanted to be out where all the excitement was taking place. The cat learned to control her instinct to chase the duck. The duck restrained her instinct to attack the cat. Eventually they learned to hunt for crickets together. The cat would catch a cricket and then proceed to play with her prey. The duck could not tolerate a cat playing with her food. She would quickly reach in and gobble up the cricket, always leaving a surprised cat staring into the grass.

The summer of 2001 was a particularly emotional and stressful time for us. We took the arrival of the duck as a sign that God wanted us to find the smile amidst it all. The church was going through the difficult discussions about changing its name from White City to Braden Park. The vote to make the change came in June and some dear friends walked away. Vacation Bible School and Youth Camp were stronger than ever, and in August our youngest daughter Dayna, and her husband Kevin, moved to the mission field in China. In July, Dory began to try to fly again, flying from one side of the yard to the other.  She loved the applause we gave her as we sat on the patio and cheered her on.  One day she flew high enough to land on the other side of the privacy fence only to meet the neighbor’s big barking dog. She flew back in an instant and decided to take a day off from flying lessons.  All that summer we benefitted from the time spent watching Dory’s healing progress.  It was a sweet gift of peace during a difficult time.

One evening she saw a flock of ducks fly over the house. As the holiday weekend approached, she began to circle out over the houses and fields, always coming home for supper. On Labor Day 2001, Dory the Duck took off and never came back. Ours was not really her home. What a special gift we were given from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Eight days later came the attacks of September 11, and a different kind of emotion flooded our world. Then we remembered how God gives us a sign of His love through it all.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Look for God’s gift. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

Share this webpage: Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin