So, we're going to skip over my unpleasant weekend to talk about the thing that happened just before it all descended into pain and fury. It was a bright and pretty Saturday morning, although quite gusty. I had a big bag of homemade bread that for miscellaneous reasons nobody was going to eat. I thought I'd go feed the ducks.
There's a duck pond nearby, a big cement thing behind an apartment complex. The walk is nice exercise if I go the long way, and I can bring my iSpud and pump myself full of music to inspire me for a day of writing. When I got there I couldn't see any ducks, only the two huge swans who swam right up to the edge of the pond and glared at me because I held food, might hold food, or might be made into food if I didn't pony up some bread. I tossed them a couple of crusts, and while they were busy I found that the duck flock was hidden around the corner of the building. They don't like getting near the swans, but the swans had food and would stay out of the way for awhile. The ducks saw a sucker and beelined for me. It looked like a great day of duck feeding.
Then duck nature took over. Ducks are, basically, feathered bags of spite. I threw out the first piece of bread, and every duck in the pond turned and attacked its neighbor. One single hen or duckess or whatever you call it had her eye on the prize, but in doing so she earned the ire of two mallards, who chased her relentlessly around the pond until I left. It might have been a mating thing, because 'consent' is a concept mallards leave to lesser avians, but none of the other mallards cared. These two just had an obsession. She'd fly to the other side of the pond, and they'd swim right through the flock, setting off more fights among anyone who'd settled down to feed, to attack her again.
Then the wind picked up, and thrashing waves - in a duck pond - swept the entire flock to the far side of the pond. The waves tipped the swans far enough over for me to learn that swans have huge, hideously mottled legs. I decided to go home, my faith in Nature restored.