I’m surprised I’ve never written a post about this, but I was thinking of a memory that’s stuck with me all these years. It happened when I was around 11 or 12, with a friend I haven’t seen in many years. This particular memory remains one of my most favorite memories from my ducklinghood. And I think I have an idea why.
You see, I rarely went out alone as a duckling, what with all the kidnappers and ruffians and bandits out in the world, but one time, I did. Kind of. I was at my friend’s house (I can’t ask her if her name can be used in this post or not, so she’ll just remain nameless). She lived in a small neighborhood by a forest. I loved forests. (This was clearly before I watched “The Blair Witch Project”….) They were so mysterious. I asked my mom often to explore them with me, but what with all the ragamuffins and thugs and punks on the planet, she wouldn’t. So I vowed that when I grew up, I would journey through the forests myself. (But, being wiser and even more aware of the Vikings and pirates and other such nefarious scoundrels that roam the globe now, I have decided against it.) So you probably think this story is leading towards me exploring the nearby woods with my friend. Well, sort of.
It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it wasn’t dark or night. It was, however, heading towards stormy, with grey clouds low in the sky, threatening to scoot their cloud socks on the carpet of the sky and zap us. I don’t know where my friend’s parents were. Their presence was never very obvious. Even if it was, I don’t think they would’ve minded when my friend and I decided to check out the woods. So we went outside and walked along the sidewalk a ways. We got to the grassy area by the woods. I remember a large storm drain pipe type thing, which could’ve been potentially perilous, but we stayed enough away from it. I also remember these bushes with berries on them. Maybe wild blueberries or blackberries that my friend said she liked to eat sometimes.
And then there was the forest. Oh, glorious forest. We went in, but it wasn’t long before our progress was slowed by thorn bushes. We managed to make our way around them and trek farther into the woods, but a combination of things ended up stopping us. I believe there were even more thorn bushes blocking our path, a wall of them nearly, and there were voices out in the woods. We couldn’t make out the words, but we stopped and listened nonetheless. It was here that we decided we should head back, but not before I noticed a chain link fence. I always thought it was a mysterious fence, but maybe there was nothing peculiar at all about it. I just remember that it ran in the direction we were going, and it just kept going and going as far as I could see. And I didn’t remember seeing it earlier, even though we should’ve been walking alongside it. It always brought up many questions in my mind. What was a fence doing in the middle of the woods? What did it encompass? Why did it go so far? And why didn’t I see it before? It probably seems much stranger than it really was, as I was young at the time, and years have gone by to only intensify the mystery I felt emanating from that fence. Strangely enough, I have never forgotten it and can always call it up clearly in my mind whenever I want to.
Anyway, back to the tale. We turned around and started our walk back to her house. There may’ve been thunder, but I can’t remember. We were afraid in a joking kind of way that my friend’s watch would get struck by lightning or we’d be in danger if we stayed too long by the metal Stop signs. We got back to her house, and that’s all I really remember.
So this memory has always been special to me, though all of them are, and sometimes I miss those times. I have since moved away, and I am now as separated from that place by land as the memory is separated from me by time. While I remember it clearly, it feels like it happened so long ago that it didn’t happen at all. Nevertheless, my one real trek out alone as a duckling remains my favorite memory. Nothing that peculiar ever happened in my life, so the mysteriousness of the voices out in the woods and the strange fence has always been a nice memory to reminisce over.
Duck, Brave Explorer of Forested Locations