A flock of gull arriving to snatch food during a feeding for ducks. Gull have no manners.
The Gullfather and his family. He’s got an offer you can’t refuse.

A cursory glance will get you a cursory life.

Kathy LaFollett
3 min readJan 17, 2023


Randy isn’t one not to wait. He will out wait every other flighted being on the field. Other ducks, wood storks, spoonbills, hawks, starlings, Quaker parrots, Senegal parrots, gulls, blue jays, wren, and finches. He will be the last duck standing, staring at the windows and back doors of our house. Taking in the details necessary to get the life he wants. Which is a belly full of left over parrot food and dog chow. The others wait, but not long enough to get their real portions. Their cursory visits yield a bite or two while elbowing the others, wanting their bite or two. The outlier squirrels run in and out of the convulsing mass of birds landing and lofting, arguing each other out of morsels.

Randy stands tall. Staring. Convinced of his choices, not at all interested in mallards taking off in groups of four while quacking disagreeable tones at each other. Put a large Spring flock of male mallards in a group. They suss out territory with stand up and slap stick. I can’t take them seriously. I have no idea how they take each other seriously.

A small number of the total wild flock of Muscovy duck who visit us every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Muscovy duck are intelligent, loyal, and intelligent.
Randy and the Barbarian Horde.

Randy doesn’t watch. Why watch something that is none of his business? He’s a focused duck. We’ve discussed this before, Randy and I. You can have civil satisfying discussions with a duck. I have many.

“Randy. We can’t do this in the front yard. You have to go in the back.” Me standing on our front porch looking down on a duck standing on our front porch.

Randy’s eyeballs me good. Looks down to the porch between us. Looks back up. Get it together woman. I am here. Where’s the grub, bub?

I excuse myself. “Fine. Hang on. Wait a minute.” I return with my yellow bowl of parrot rejections and dog chow. “Okay, you want this? You follow me.” And we walk side by side the length of the front porch, across the driveway, to the side yard to turn left again arriving in the back field behind our yard. “Now, you eat.”

His eyes cast disdain. He knows something I don’t. I drop two handfuls of all things. He looks up. I look down and grin. Thinking I know something. Which I don’t.

We are immediately consumed by the whirlwinds of fate. Also known as a flock of gull.

Randy looks up. He shakes his head. I am exhausting to a duck. He waddles away hissing to himself. There may be no hope for me. We’ll see how he feels later, at the dinner bell, after the gull have left the area. This time of year that’s about 5:45 pm EST. Hope springs eternal in a duck named Randy.

You can’t just glance at life. You need to stare at it, stand firm in it, and clearly declare what you want. Hope is the soundtrack, not the script to living. You’ll also need to outlast a few other ducks.

Hope is the soundtrack, not the script to living. A woman walking on a pier with seagull over head. They hope she may have something to eat.