Five Little Ducks

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Spelk

by Jo Withers

It wasn’t like her to keep losing things.

Once, there had been five.

It reminded her of the old nursery rhyme where the little ducks go swimming one day with their mother.

But they weren’t ducks and she wasn’t a mother.

***

They tried to stay together like families were supposed to, but something always happened and one by one they ended up on the other side. Over the hills and far away where she couldn’t reach them. She wailed and screamed for them to return but they had gone.

One after another … crack, crack, crack, crack … none of the little ducks came back.

***

No-one blamed the mother duck, but she blamed herself. The pain of feeling them there, then not, was suffocating. The paranoia and despair as she began again. Continuing because the others deserved a chance. Each time she worried more, breathed…

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