Andy the Duck

I already told you about growing up in Bergen County, NJ in the 50's, that is, all of our parents starting the race for parenthood about the same time (just after World War II).  I also mentioned my mother's childhood, surrounded by barnyard pets (see Gook Gook).

Sure enough, the kid across the street, Franky, had a menagerie in his back yard, but over the years, in stages.  First, he had some hens and chicks, then some rabbits, box turtles, you get the picture.

I guess it was the late 50's, we were 10 or 11 years old, when Andy the duck showed up.  

I was used to cats and dogs, having one of each, but Andy was the first duck I'd seen outside of a storybook.  Today, every time I see the Aflac commercial, I think of Andy, who like that duck, was definitely bi-polar.  One day you could walk into their yard, and Andy would saunter over with a little chuckle under his beak, scoping your hand for any feed you might have for him.  The next day, he would chase you out of the yard upon sight.

During late spring, Andy, who usually spent more time in the yard than in the makeshift coop he had for shelter, seemed to be "sleeping late", so to speak.  Franky, myself, and a few other kids from the block slowly approached the coop to see if Andy was OK.  As were go close, Andy came out of the coop like a shot, and started chasing us around the yard like a border collie.  Franky, while Andy was chasing one of us, was able to peer inside the coop, and yelled,

"Andy laid an egg!"

It turned out Andy was short for Andrea.

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