It was a bright and sunny day at the Rype & Readi Farm Market. The sun was shining, the breeze was crisp and clear, and all the animals on the Market were enjoying the absolutely delightful day that had been offered up to them.
Even Ducky was in an absolutely pleasant mood, spite of how the weather didn’t match his water-logged definition of ‘ideal’.
Currently, the duck was humming a cheerful tune to himself as he waddled through the Market, eyeing the ingredients and goods arrayed on the shelves with an analytical eye.
This was atypical behavior for any of the animals, to be sure, but hardly a cause for concern.
What was a cause for concern, however, was when Ducky worked a bag of baking mix off of the shelf and into the basket he was dragging behind him. The duck then waddled his way into the freezer and added a bottle of water and some milk to his load.
His little spree completed, the duck waddled his way out of the store, but not before passing by the register and tossing a baggie of coins and bills onto the countertop.
Ducky then made his way out to the parking lot, where the rest of the ingredients he’d previously assembled were arrayed before the grill. The duck painstakingly lifted the items he’d ‘purchased’ onto the grill’s counter, positioned himself on the device, and started to list them out as a final confirmation.
“Alright, let’s see…” He muttered to himself. “Bowl, check. Baking mix, check. Water, check. Salt and sugar, check. Flavor, check…”
“Disapproving chicken, also a check.”
Ducky didn’t even miss a beat, waving his wing over the edge of the grill. “Hello, Paprika.”
Paprika brought a wing to her face with a sigh. “Do I even want to know why you stole those ingredients, Ducky?”
“Didn’t steal, there’s money on the counter.”
Ducky rolled his eyes at the chicken’s exasperated tone before turning to face her. “I was just hungry, alright?”
“As usual,” Paprika muttered to herself.
“I was looking through the store’s repertoire,” Ducky forged on unhindered. “And I noticed that while there are a lot of pastries available for purchase, there aren’t any that have an avian’s tastebuds in mind! So, I decided to go right ahead and make some all by myself! Is that such a crime?”
Paprika opened her beak to reply… and then stiffened as a smell hit her nose. “…Ducky, just what exactly are you trying to bake?”
The duck held up his squirming bowl of flavor. “Cricket crumble bread. Why do you ask?”
“Because it seems to me like you’re cooking canard cuit.”
Ducky blinked in confusion. “Come again?”
“Look behind you!”
Ducky did just that… and realized that in turning around, he’d inadvertently stuck his tail feathers in the fire.
In the end, there was only one response he could produce.
“Glossing over how ‘I left money on the counter’ is absolutely not a valid shopping practice, and how ‘cooking without knowing how to cook’ is far from safe… I just have to know.” Drake gave his brother an inquisitive look. “Is this going to be a thing with you? Because it looks like it’s going to be a thing with you.”
“Mrrph mmph mmph…” Ducky muttered out through the bandages that encircled his beak.
“Well, I personally hope that this is going to be a thing with you,” Drake gave his brother a sunny smile. “After all, the quiet is so nice! Don’t you agree, brother?”
“My thoughts exactly, Ducky my boy! My thoughts exactly.”
by Baxter Balick, Rype & Readi Contributing Author, Flagler College Sophomore