Once upon a time there live a little yellow duckling.

This little yellow duckling lived in a lovely little pond at the edge of a large meadow filled with beautiful flowers. Every morning the graceful white deer from the King’s Hunting Preserve would come to the meadow. The beautiful white deer would drink sweet water from the lovely little pond and nibble on only the most beautiful of the flowers and the tenderest of the grasses.

They would also tease the little yellow duckling, calling her “Tiny” or “Squeaky” or “Little Fluffy Numbnuts”.

The graceful white deer from the King’s Hunting Preserve were pretty big jerks.

The little yellow duckling ignored the graceful white deer from the King’s Hunting Preserve. She spent the spring paddling around on the pond. She nibbled on the emerald green water-weeds that grew in the shallows of the pretty little pond, keeping the tiny stream the pond fed clear and sparkling. Whenever a weed sprouted on the grassy banks, she would quickly eat them, even though they were quite bitter. The graceful white deer laughed at her. They called her stupid for eating the bland water-weeds and the bitter weeds when there were so many sweet flowers and tender grasses available.

The little yellow duckling ignored the beautiful white deer as spring faded into summer. Instead she plucked snails from the verdant grass and chased the bright fish around to amuse the young children who came to the meadow to braid necklaces of flowers and watch the graceful white deer. The little children tried to place the garlands of flowers around the necks of the beautiful white deer, but they would shake their antlers at the children and frighten them. They would laugh at the fear on the children’s faces and then eat the garlands the children had worked so hard on.

As I’ve mentioned, the graceful white deer from the King’s Hunting Preserve were pretty big jerks.

The little yellow duckling did not remain little and yellow, she grew into a plump little grey duck the color of storm clouds. She was not beautiful, as the deer were, and she was not graceful, as the deer were, but she did not mind such things. She was content to paddle around the pond as summer began to fade into winter. The flowers in the meadow withered and the tender grasses grew tough and stringy. The graceful white deer had to venture into the deep dark woods, where the only thing they could find to eat was a few nettles and acorns.

One morning, when the air had begun to smell of snow, the duck who was no longer little or yellow felt a strange urge. Testing her powerful wings she lept into the cold air. Each stroke of her grey-feathered wings took her higher, untill she was gliding easily over the dark deep woods. A road she had never seen before cut into the trees and she could see small shapes on it. Curious, she drifted lower. Men, dressed in leather a fur, one sporting a circlet as golden as the now-vanished summer sun. Lashed to poles carried by the men were several of the graceful white deer, the red splashes on their once pristine coats doing little to mar their graceful lines.

“Serves the bastards right.” thought the now fat little duck, as she glided through the sky. She then dove sharply downward.

The King’s huntsman struggled with his end of the pole. This deer was a fat one and he could almost smell it crackling over a fire. A grey shape fell from the sky with a flurry of feathers and just as quickly was gone. He tilted his head back; he could barely make out the vanishing speck amid the grey clouds. He looked back at his burden and frowned.

The bird had shit on the carcass.