While looking out the kitchen window at home, I saw my dad pulling a red wagon followed by what I thought was a mechanical duck. I wondered what kept it following him so neatly—a magnet? A string? By the time he'd turned down the middle row, I'd caught up with the wagon, which was now followed by a line of live ducks, most of them young. I couldn't tell what kept the ducks in line and so attached to the wagon. I felt compelled to scratch them under their bills, which some but not all tolerated.
Although this scene seemed inexpressibly charming to me, suddenly I wanted to move me and my dad into a shared two-bedroom apartment. I found one for $1,300 a month, which I thought we could afford between us. My own actions made me sad, and I missed the ducks and their parade with my dad.