Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Norfolk, VA - This year has been filled with adventure. One of my most favorite memories from the year came as a surprise one April afternoon when Dad and I were enjoying a beverage on the fort in the backyard. While Dad was off getting another beer, I heard a soft peeping noise coming from the ground. I looked down and saw a baby duck, not a week old, running towards Shorty’s house. I found myself yelling, “Dad, quick! There’s a chick in the yard!” I was terrified that Shorty would see the poor baby as a nice snack, but I was also afraid to pick it up. That fear passed quickly as “Peep” and I fell in love. 
   I went next door with Peep to show our neighbors, Jack and Duncan. We played with Peep, watched him follow us around the yard, and wondered what would become of him. Even Shorty loved our new friend. He gently picked Peep up in his mouth to show his affection. As dinnertime came near, we decided to let Peep go and try his best to survive on his own. Heartbroken, I put him in the river and sprinted to my house so that he would not be able to follow me. 
   Fifteen minutes later, Mom received a phone call with the number of an animal rescue team who could come pick Peep up. I went back outside to search for my baby. We found him, lost in the mud, about one hundred yards away. I looked at him and sighed, “Come on, Peep.” He immediately began running towards his mama and was in my hands seconds later. Peep slept between my arm and side for the next hour until animal rescue came to get him. 
   It is amazing how life can throw such random and wonderful dilemmas at you. A baby duck thought I was his mother. I will never forget my little Peep.

Nicole graduated from James Madison University in May.
She's currently working on her Masters at JMU.

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