Sometime last night during Season 4, Episode 7 of Breaking Bad, Momma Duck must have tired, just as I have, of Jesse threatening to make other people his bitch. She left her basket, eggs uncovered and has not yet returned.
This is not the duck I know.
Momma Duck has been so protective, so cautious, so tending to her eggs. She has given each one equal time under the warmest spot on her body, rotating them with her bill every thirty minutes or so. She has covered them with her own belly feathers, taking care to tuck the feathers in between the eggs. She has even pulled my plant identifiers from around the yard to use as insulation. For the past few weeks, she has rarely taken breaks, many days going completely without even in the hot sun. And now this?
Her eggs are about five days from hatching. When you’re so close to the finish line, why quit? Why be so completely committed to something just to up and leave when you can see the ribbon?
I don’t get it. I don’t understand.
I’ve been fretting all morning over what to do. I put the umbrella up so her little babies wouldn’t get snatched by a hawk or destroyed by magpies. And, this afternoon I’ll go on snake patrol. But how long can they really just sit there exposed, not incubated? I haven’t the heart to abort these eggs. It’s not my decision to make. No, really. I think they’re federally protected.
I also don’t need a snake buffet on my deck.
I don’t know what happened to you, Momma Duck. Maybe some twenty-something year old in a jacked-up pickup with a Calvin pissing on a Ford emblem in his rear window and silver balls hanging from his hitch thought it would be funny to run you over while you were out getting a drink of water and a little snacker-bug. Maybe you ran into your man down at the ditch and decided motherhood just wasn’t for you. After all, you’ve had to deal with quite a few obstacles these past few days—a bull snake, losing three of your children, and the blistering heat of yesterday. I get how scared and tired you must be. Watching TV last night and listening to Jesse break down and ask, “What’s it all for?” maybe wasn’t the best thing for you. I’m sorry, Momma Duck. Jesse isn’t a good influence right now. He’s in a very bad place. You need to know though, TV isn’t REAL. YOU are real, Momma Duck.
I’ll keep your eggs through lunch time. Then I’m going to have to call the cops. That’s Fish & Game to you. I need some good, solid advice.
You got a couple hours to make up your mind. Do the right thing here. I’m praying for you.
All of My Love,