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White, Black and Grey Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ahmad Magdy, Egypt Mar 12, 2010
Culture , Human Rights , Peace & Conflict   Short Stories
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The three ducks were intimate friends. They were not in fact three, they were more than this little number. The flock consisted of about ten ducks but some analysts concluded that Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory contributed a great deal to the extinction of a large number of these birds. It seemed apparent that there were no ducks at that time other than these three ducks. Proud as they should be, the ducks swam their way in and out of the pond searching for food and respect. They did not notice the slight differences in their feathers’ color. They felt that they were the same. Until one day, one of the ducks strolled out of the cold blue pond and fluttered her wings to dry in the hot sun, as usual. It was seen by a wretched, sweaty peasant who was digging the ground. Its magnificent complexion stunned the poor ignorant man; he felt a certain power in his feeble hands. His flirts made the duck proud, thus to increase his passion and exhilaration she raised her tail and walked arrogantly before the peasant’s red, worn-out eyes. “Come Hek! Come quickly!” Hek was a tall dingy farmer who worked on a nearby piece of land. Hek ran to the other peasant thinking that the man discovered a hidden treasure. “Look at this Grey duck!”

For the first time in its life, the duck was addressed by her color, it was never in her wildest thought that it was grey, but it delighted her. “At least I am now different and more esteemed than the other two.”

From that day on, the farmer saved food for the duck, believing deep down in his heart that this Grey duck gave him vigor and power. Days passed and the astounded being began a new habit of throwing gold coins at its flat legs, because he was told by Hek that she duplicated his money by some hidden powers. The lavish thoughts conquered his uneducated head and blinded his unrefined eyes to the silliness of his actions. The Grey duck did not comprehend anything, but it loved the way by which it was treated, and dared to grow fonder of her status between the farmers by that time. Its reputation grew in the town like fire in a wooden house. All this took place while the other two ducks were living their common routine, and they never wondered once what this duck was doing out of the pond.

At the time of the regular immigration, the Grey duck refused to accompany the other two, and it told them queer things about being “Grey” and “distinct.” They thought it was pointless to busy their small minds with the reluctant duck’s unexpected resolution, thus they traveled by themselves and they left it behind. One of the two ducks observed that the duck who was “supposed” to be their sister was treated in a majestic way, which activated her envy. During their voyage they talked about their friend’s awkward behavior and how shamefully it abused their reputation as ducks.

In a neighboring village, provoked by jealousy, the other duck attempted to try her luck. When she spotted a farmer in the field, she paced deliberately out of the lake and cleaned her feathers in a twisted way in order to catch his sight. The weary farmer was alarmed when he noticed the duck. He was astonished of how pure and angelic the duck appeared to be. He let his plow fall out of his hardened palm and walked slowly toward the duck, stepping over the green fruits of his faithful land. “Look Mar, this White Duck is Angelic. I was sure that one day I would be awarded by something to atone for my toil. And here is my prize!”

Like the other peasant, the farmer showered the White duck with gifts, food, and money, thinking that this will bring him power, money and status. The name "White" made the young duck over the moon.

In spite of her wise and sane views about the other two reckless ducks, the third one felt it unbearable to pursue her trip by herself. Day by day, boredom replaced faith inside the duck’s heart. The image of her two friends enjoying their lives filled her mind with thoughts. “Why not?” she finally thought.

The final duck moved to the next village and started showing off like the other ducks, and fortunately it was equally accepted. They referred to it as “the Black duck.”

Villages sang with joy to their ducks, everyone respected the boundaries of their duck’s reputation and never commented on any other duck of different color, for why should they attack others’ views? It was none of their business.

Days passed and everyone was happy and contented about their ducks. The control of the ducks grew and grew. Money had their pictures stamped on it, clothes had their portraits drawn on them, and some claimed they were able to understand and share the Ducks' words of wisdom and prophecies. A society of Black, White and Grey ducks came to light.

All was well, until a single incident changed the fate of the three villages forever. One man from the land of the White duck planted palm trees around his land obeying the words that were said as an advice to him by the White duck at the tongue of the interpreter. On the other side of the land, one follower of the Grey duck was ordered when he consulted the Grey duck, to cut all the long trees around his farm to let wind pass. A big fight grew between the laborers of the two farms.

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