About the Book

 

Photo by Faith NielsenThe duck and I met at a lake near my home in Northern Virginia. By happenstance and in a short time, I learned of his duckling days and I connected the dots – to discover an amazing story that inspired me when I was searching for insight into my own life's experiences.
             — Faith Nielsen, "A Note from the Author"

SEE INSIDE THE BOOK . . .

Synopsis

The story begins with Dax — a one-of-a-kind duckling — hatching, learning to swim, and reveling in his own special qualities. One day, while he is swimming in the lake, a snapping turtle bites off one of his feet. A kind man takes him to the veterinarian, where the rest of his leg is removed. The man then takes him to his home, caring for and feeding the little duck while he recovers from his injuries and surgery.

When the duck is well enough to return to the lake, he must learn to adapt to life with one leg. Walking on land and taking off in flight are obstacles to his ability to find food, and he comes to rely on the people who bring dried corn to the lake to feed the ducks.

One particular blue-eyed lady – whom Dax dubs "Blue Lady" – takes on the role of feeding the one-legged duck – whom she dubs "Lame Duck" – on a regular basis. She takes a particular interest in him because she, too, is recovering from shoulder surgery. As their relationship evolves, they either wait for or call out to each other every day, and this contact becomes a special part of their lives as the seasons pass.

When the lake freezes, Lame Duck, who still cannot fly or walk on land, can't get to the shoreline for his food. At first, Blue Lady throws the corn as far as she can from the shoreline. When the lake is completely frozen, she bravely ties one end of a rope to a pier and the other end around her waist, and then safely walks out onto the ice to deliver the corn.

Later, a deep snowfall keeps her from even getting close to the frozen lake. She implores: “Lame Duck, Fly. Fly." And he does fly to the shore, a courageous act, because Blue Lady believes in him.

The book closes with Lame Duck acknowledging how important Blue Lady was to him, but he doesn't understand his own importance to her. He then realizes that he has helped her remember that she, too, was courageous and special.