© 2018 Aaron Atkinson mallards

Deaf Ducks

Dennis, Ron and I are huddled together on a grey morning in the duck marsh trying our best to hide from the pair of gadwalls that are warily circling our decoys looking for a safe place to land.

On their third loop, they drift behind us. Nobody moves.

“Do you see them?” Dennis whispers.

“Nope.” I whisper back.

We don’t want to turn our heads to look and risk flaring the ducks.

Ron is a great guy. Super friendly, quick with a smile, 60 years old, hard of hearing, and new to the duck hunting game.

“Where are they?” He whispers a little too loudly. “Do you guys see them?”

We shake our heads ever so slightly.

“By the way, how well can these things hear?” He asks a little louder still.

Before we can answer he restates with even more volume, “How loud can we talk without scaring them off?”

At that moment the ducks flair and quickly gain altitude, wise to the ruse.

“Just a little less loud than that, Ron.” Says Dennis with a patient smile.

I can’t help but to laugh. Dennis and Ron join in.

That cold, wet, belly-laugh among friends was better than a pair of dead ducks anyway.

 

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