Giggle, Gaggle & Google Parts I & II
My wife spent a week designing and building their house. It was an elegant and expensive abode, strong and safe as Fort Knox. I scrutinized the construction and evaluated the design; my input was ignored, even though I am experienced in renovation.
The following day, she brought them to their new home, across the pond from us. They were young and innocent, and devastatingly cute – we didn't know then how they would test the boundaries of our marriage. Instead, we oohed and aahed like wide-eyed children, though I'm past 50, and my wife is a month younger. (If my wife asks, please report honestly that I said she was younger than me, and I did not give her actual age.)
The next step was the naming.
"Seymour, Penelope, and Dr. D.," my wife suggested.
"Maybe for a Jewish accountant, a Greek Goddess, and a black rap singer, but not for them," I answered, exercising my veto power.
"How about Poo, Tigger, and Piglet?" Those were our children's thoughts, who are way past legal voting age.
Another veto. If I had to look at them every day, sometimes for hours, they had to have names I could relate to. These were not a bunch of bears, a throng of tigers, or a pack of porkers, but a group of geese, technically known as a gaggle.
"What do you suggest, Dad?"
"How about Giggle, Gaggle, and Google?"
Yes, the names sounded silly. But they worked for me.
Now, you might have been wondering, why would a man older than a half-century want to look at geese for hours? Well, I am a writer, and sometimes I attempt to write humor. During these foolish attempts, there are lapses when the words come slowly, and with great difficulty. When this happens, I stare over my computer screen, out the large window in front of my desk, at our pond.
I long for something to stare at in our tiny body of water, during these periods of psychic emptiness, something natural and playful. For the last three years, all I saw was an occasional bass breaking the surface as it devoured a smaller fish. This image tended to give my sense of humor a nasty bite.
I have made my wishes vocal over the last three years, in the form of whining. My wife tired of listening to me and went out and bought my three amusing muses from a local farmer: Giggle is pure white, Gaggle is mostly white with gray flecks, and Google is half white and gray.
We kept out fear silent. Two people who have lived together for more than 25 years do not have to express the words, to know what the other is afraid of.
The fear dated back ten years previous when we lived at a house without a pond. One Sunday, I brought home three baby ducks purchased from a local flea market. We kept them in a small chicken wire pen, open at the top, letting them out to swim in their own little kiddie pool. I loved watching them play in the water, like happy children.
One morning, after about a month, my wife let out a scream. When I ran over, she was standing by the duck pen, crying.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
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© Copyright 2012 by Zalman Velvel Inc.
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