As Nellie and I arrive at Shubenacadie Park, we head straight for the ducks meet the people gathering place by the canal’s edge. It’s a great spot to go when winter begins to loosen its grip and there is more open water than iced surface. Steps lead quickly to a dock where canoers and kayakers come ashore, or push off in finer weather.
It’s an ideal place to sit and wait for the ducks. Pieces of pita bread tossed in the air are a telegraphed invitation. They fly in from all over. Moments ago there were two and now there are twenty or more milling about waiting for the next morsels to be thrown in abandon.
We are so much luckier than Beckett’s Vladimir and Estragon. Our waiting is short lived. Despite the grey tones in the sky and the muted light there is not much here in the way of melancholy existentialist angst either. The ducks do provide a certain unasked for camaraderie for both of us.
We’re having good fun watching the ducks and experiencing a feeling of largesse through our bread crumbs charity. It’s a simple pleasure through and through. It’s not until our bread is all gone that we see a sign requesting that no one feed the ducks. It’s well beyond the congregation area where we sat. How absurd is that?