Who is Quackals? 2

On a fresh summer day, the birds seemed to have a more joyous song, the leaves in the trees excitedly passed the news in the wind as they rustled endlessly; excitement filled the air. All of the gossip-loving squirrels chatted and buzzed like bees. That July morning, a small and truly beautiful duckling was opening his eyes to this world for the first time. From that moment, his parents knew he was different. On the minute after he hatched, this tiny infant let out a quack; it was a truly beautiful quack, like a song rather than a call. So, accordingly, they named him Quackals. He was loved dearly by all of the animals because of his fun-loving nature. From the moment he could walk at all, he was constantly on demand as a playmate.

For some reason or another, Quackals developed particularly shiny, soft, yellow down. He was extremely sleek and was quite pleasing to the eye. Quackals had thorough cleaning habits, as to keep his feathers quite shiny and radiant. He was often mocked by other animals saying, “What does it matter that we keep ourselves neat and comely when all of good fun is best done in mud?” They laughed and teased and ridiculed till the sun set low in the heavens. But Quackals knew that indeed the best fun was done when one did not have to fuss over uncomfortable grimy dirt under one’s feathers and feet. So Quackals continued to wash thoroughly, and eventually was able to do the same amount of cleaning and scrubbing in less than five minutes. Quackals’ favorite spot to wash was at the pond across the street.

Somehow, Quackals found ways to do the finest fun and still be clean after. No one knows how he did it to this day, but Quackals says that he wanted amusement, so he had invented a way. Though he was always known as the cleanest duck around, he was also notorious for his wonderful laugh and joking nature. Through his third and fourth year he was still a playmate on demand. Every creature in the area loved his jokes, his comfortable manner, and his laugh which jingled like bells.

Quackals had a wonderful family, and you would never see a happier bunch of relatives than his.

This family of ducks lived in the back yard of a young entrepreneur who was trying to develop some business or other. His name was Jason. Jason wanted more than ever to help the public in a noticeable way. He thought of starting something with the newest and best technologies, but that was as far as he got on the drawing board.

Every night after he got home from his current job, he would stare at how dirty and scratched his car was. He thought it very depressing. “If only I had a clean car,” he thought, “I would work that much harder on my job.” But every time he went to a car wash, the wash was too expensive, too slow and wouldn’t actually clean his car. It was so mortifying to him; he hadn’t been to one for almost a year. Every night, Jason would lull himself to sleep as he thought of all the troubles of life. Late at night, he finally would close his aching bloodshot eyes and just begin to relax when . . . . Beeeep. Beeeep. Beeeep. Beeeeeep!” His obnoxious alarm clock forced him out of a peaceful dream and back into his living nightmare. He searched around in the dark and bumped his head on the wall and dresser several times before he found the light switch. Flipping the switch and finding the dresser drawer, he anxiously fumbled with his suit buttons and tie. Sliding on shoes that were not meant to be slid, he heaved open his front door sadly, gloomily, almost forlornly, but with much hurriedness. In the dim morning light he took a moment for his eyes to adjust.

As he hastily slid out the door, he saw a small family of beautiful ducks. The slightest hint of a smile crossed Jason’s lips. Jason paused to enjoy the sight of this bunch cross the road. As they did so, the duck’s child, the one with such a bright sleek yellow bunch of feathers on his back, could not peel his eyes off of Jordan’s repulsive dirt lump of a car, as if the dear child pitied it for being so vile. After the ducks had crossed, Jason took a look at his dirt-caked car, sighed, and swiftly jumped inside to begin his day of torture.  

Quackals’ parents couldn’t help but notice that he was especially drawn to cars. Quackals loved these beautiful glistening objects that held such mystery and intrigue. He knew cars had to weigh thousands, yet people had invented a way to move these sparking objects. But after he saw a car that had so much dirt and grime, he yet again was filled with disgust for uncleanliness, and had a growing pang inside of him to share his secrets of cleaning, to prevent any car from looking like this ever again. A bitter flavor he tasted on his tongue. His soul was filled with fury. No one would ever have a car that was less than spotless anymore if he had anything to say about it. He must find a way.

That night, when Jason returned driving in his dirt lump, Quackals had a plan. He waited till his parents were sound asleep, then he cautiously waddled down to the drive way of Jason’s house. As he hopped out of bed, his breathing felt extremely loud, and he sensed his heartbeat could be audible for miles around. The frosted grass noisily crunched like an alarm; the wind carried a mournful song. As he came around the corner of the house, a looming black figure appeared. Quackals’ heart jumped into his throat; the figure was Jason’s dirt lump. Straining his eyes in the twilight, Quackals inspected the car. This would take a lot of water. Carefully crossing the road in the semi-darkness, he safely reached the park with the duck pond. Quackals dipped his bill into the pond and filled it with as much water as he could hold. Although one mouthful of water was enough to clean him, it would take hundreds to clean the dirt off of Jason’s car. So diligently, slowly, carefully, Quackals spent the whole night scrubbing and drenching the car. When the sky began to lighten, Quackals was filled with pride. The car looked spotless. As it turned out, underneath all of that dirt and grime, there was a bright red paint job underneath. The thing looked brand new.

With a light heart, Quackals strode home. He had turned the dirt lump into a car overnight. As he settled into his bed, and gently closed his strained eyes, he felt accomplished; very proud and full of joy. No creature before or since has felt as accomplished as this duck. At seven o’clock, which he knew was when Jason woke up every morning, Quackals crept to the front yard and peeked around the corner of the house to see Jason’s reaction. It was a satisfyingly blissful thing to watch.

As Jason gingerly closed the door of his house, he stood staring at an almost unrecognizable thing. It shone like rubies and had the air of royalty. Jason slowly walked to his car. He touched the bright paint: it was smooth, it had not a speck. Jason must have stared for ten minutes. A loud car drove by, lashing Jason out of his mesmerizing day dream. Jason checked his watch: he was late. Excitedly, with a new joy and song in his soul, Jason hopped in his car and turned on the engine. The car itself sounded glad to be rid of so much filth. The two bounced down the road. His car was dirty no more.

That day, Jason was filled with song, and he whistled all day long. He was kinder to his co-workers and employer. All who saw his smile grew one on their face twice as big. He was contagious. Since his employer was in such a good mood also, he gave Jason a raise. This tripled the size of Jason’s smile. By the end of the day, the entire business was whistling if not bursting in song.

Jason smiled and sang in his head while he looked at his car again after work. He loved how his car shined and sparkled. “I must thank the one who cleaned my car.” He thought gratefully. Jason contently went into his house and laid his head on the pillow. As he closed his happy eyes he knew: “I’ll sleep much better now.”  And he was right. In fact, Jason slept better that night than he had since he was a kid. He fell into the deep kind of restful sleep from which one never is disturbed. The next morning, his alarm did not seem so wretched and awful, but instead a gentle hand shaking him awake. Jason gently sat up and stretched, his feet dangling off of his bed. Now that had been sleep.

Soon Jason went out the door and took off. Once again Quackals stood watching from behind the house. Quackals let out a satisfactory grin. He, Quackals, the little duck, had made some one happy. Very contented with his work, he went to splash in the park waters; no one had ever seen a happier duck at the pond. Since he was so entertaining to watch, Quackals didn’t just only get a bath, but a supper of bread crumbs too. Quite satisfied with his meal, Quackals crossed back over the street to go home. He was just in time to see Jason pull in.

Jason’s car was splattered with mud. The dirt beguiled his smiling into a deep frown as Jason pulled in. “How is it possible that after two days, this, my work and pride, is ruined?”  Quackals’ heart fell. He let out a groaning quack. Jason was at this point inspecting his car for scratches when he heard this call of anguish. He whipped around and to his surprise there was the little duck who had stared at his car so oddly that morning as he pulled out. Jason was surprised to see this young creature postured in such a way as to suggest that this duck was spying around the house side.

“Hello, young fellow,” Jason cooed, “how are you?” Quackals stared blankly at this man for a few moments then said in perfect English, “Perfectly fine, thank you. Why is your car so dirty?” Quackals looked in disgust toward the mud-splattered car.

Jason was perfectly shocked. Not knowing if he was hallucinating, he sputtered, “I-I ran through a mud puddle on the way back from work.”

“Hmm, I see. Yesterday night I was the one who cleaned your car for you. You seem to have a gift for making cars dirty. My name is Quackals. What is yours, might I inquire?”

“Umm . . . ?” For a moment Jason could not remember his name. “Oh, Jason Johnston. Th-Thank you for, umm, cleaning my car. Have a g-good day, Quackals. I, uh, have to go, um, right now.”

Jason rushed into his house to take his temperature. His temperature was fine, he didn’t have a headache, he had had enough sleep, so it added up to the conclusion that the duck out there actually talked.

The duck’s name was . . . oh yeah, Quackals or something like that. He said that he had cleaned Jason’s car . . . overnight. It didn’t really make any sense to Jason. It made Jason overwhelmingly dizzy thinking about linking fancy to fancy and fact to fact. After each passing moment Jason felt more and more ridiculous. He lay down on his soft bed and slowly sank into its comforting cushions. He might as well talk to the duck more in the morning to see if he understood this fascinating creature once again.

Meanwhile, Quackals was rather shocked that what sound seemed to come out of this man sounded like perfect Quackish, the ducks’ language. And Quackals, being rather a clever duck, and remembering how perfectly shocked Jason looked when he had understood Quackals, it occurred to him that although no person has ever tried talking to any duck before,  and vice versa, ducks and people might have the same language. It was quite possible and a major shock to Quackals.

This he pondered as he crossed the street to the park. It was quite possible; just possible enough for Quackals to set his heart on speaking to Jason again in the morning.

After a refreshing splash in the pond, Quackals started his way home. The dark black blanket covered the vast sky and therein was thousands of sparkling stars thickly sprinkled throughout. Quackals thought it beautiful. He sighed, content. “What duck,” thought Quackals, “What duck is as lucky as this? Surely I have the lot above all others. Who could dream for more?” Quackals slowly inhaled, relishing the fresh night air. A cool breeze rustled his soft feathers. Quackals crossed the street, and then ran to his bed in the dew drenched grass. And he slept. Ever so gently, ever so softly, he breathed into the cold air and a cloud of breath shot out from his nostrils and dissipated ever so slowly and delicately, swirling this way and that until scarcely nothing could be seen of it. This was what he called a perfect night.

The next morning, the sun came peeping over the distant horizon and slowly turned the sky shades of orange yellow and pink. The sun’s gentle rays slowly melted the frost encrusting flowers and trees. If one listened ever so carefully, the dripping of melted frost came from every tree.

By this time, Quackals had already bathed, ate and was walking round about the yard to wait; to wait for this Jason that Quackals had met yesterday. He was growing impatient, almost piqued. Each second contributed to the passing minute, and the minute to the hour. Finally, one hour before Jason usually awakened, Quackals heard the ever so faint closing of a door.

Quackals strode to the front yard to see Jason waiting for him. Jason apparently had gotten over the fact that ducks don’t talk English and was exhilarated to have a new friend.

“Hello Quackals,” Jason warmly said, “How are you today? How did you sleep?”

“Oh, very well. I was wondering if you wanted me to clean your car on a regular basis?”

“Yes, well, I was hoping you would say that. Of course you can. Thank you so much. I always seem to get my car dirty in the most irregular ways. I’ve tried several times to clean this old thing at local car washes, but they never do the job right. There are always a few splotches they’ve missed. It makes me so angry . . .”

Quackals started thinking. “This man wants a clean car, and I want to help him. Now if the car washes are really as horrible as Jason says they are, and I know a thing or two about cleanliness, then why don’t we start a car wash-a good car wash-of our own?”

“Jason?”

“ . . . and so I . . . yeah?”

“Why don’t we start our own car wash, a good one that will do the job right?”

“Well . . . I suppose that is a very good idea, Quackals! I’ve always wanted to start a business to help people! Though I’ve never even considered a car wash . . . a car wash! What a brilliant idea. Oh yes, this is wonderful! Let’s make plans. Dear friend, come in!” Jason gestured to his door and opened it. Quackals joyfully took up his offer and marched into Jason’s small house.

 Inside of Jason’s little front room, there were two small recliners and one large sofa. In the center of the room was a small circular table made of a dark wood. Quackals squirmed to climb up on one recliner and sit down upon it. Jason left the room for a few minutes then returned with two papers and two pencils. He set the latter on the table and handed Quackals one piece of paper.

As Jason took the other recliner he simply stated, “Now what?”

Quackals stared for a few moments then replied, “What should it be called?”

And so the new friends spent Jason’s extra hour that morning planning and drawing, debating and arguing about this that and the other. Eventually, at the end of the hour, all of the details were worked out. Tomorrow morning Jason would go to the bank to apply for a loan for the company about to hatch. They had settled on the name “Quick Quack Car Wash.” Only the best technology would be used; and because Quackals so loved his little pond across the street, and was sure that others loved different spots of beauty and of nature, Quackals made sure that all of the technologies in use would be environmentally friendly. The idea was perfect. The two friends shook hand and wing; while Jason took to the city for work, Quackals went to the pond to think and enjoy the day.

Quackals waited. He waited for the whole day and tried to anticipate the minute and hour Jason would return. There was one detail they had forgotten: Who was to be their mascot? He thought and pondered until his headache was so splitting he had to go home and rest. To his horror, Quackals could think of no one that would fit the title of mascot for such a business as this.

Late in the evening, Jason returned still excited with the idea of helping people in such a way as a car wash. Quackals waited on the front lawn for Jason to come out of his car.

As Jason stepped out, grinning from ear to ear, Quackals blurted out, “Who is to be our company mascot?”

Jason’s mouth twisted in thought. “Well, I suppose that you would be the perfect fit. After all, our business revolves around being fun, fast, and clean. You are all of the above, and environmentally mindful.”

Quackals was shocked. This had never occurred to him. He smiled at the thought. Still grinning, he replied, “Yes, that is a good idea. So you get a loan tomorrow?”

“Yes, tomorrow.”

Quackals was so excited he could hardly speak. If this worked out, Quick Quack Car Wash would have only the best and newest technology. The wash was supposed to be an enjoyable experience for not only the car, but its passengers as well.

That night Quackals squirmed with delight. Tomorrow was the day. He could hardly sleep. For several hours he lay motionless, drinking in the stillness of the night. As he closed his eyes, his mind whirled with the ideas they had come up with.

Eventually the morning came, though Quackals was sure that it never would. He leaped up and ran to the front door, waiting ever so patiently. But he could hardly wait. It was pure agony waiting there.

At last Jason could be heard rushing around the house. Jason thrust open the door and nearly knocked Quackals over. It was time.

Saying the words Quackals was dreading, Jason said “You must not come with me. The bank will think I’m crazy to bring a duck there. I’m sorry. I’ll be back.”

“It’s . . . fine. I’ll just stay here. All day. Again.” Quackals face fell.

“Well, buddy, I need to go now. I’ll see you later!” Jason jumped into his car and drove off.

Quackals sighed. But just as promised, Jason returned later that day. With a bounce in his step Jason pulled up and ran up to Quackals who was waiting in the front yard.

“Hey, little pal, guess what? I got the loan. It will take a while for me to set this business up though.”

Once again Quackals was horrified at the thought of having to wait more. But he was delighted that the loan had been taken care of.

Over the next few months, Jason took the necessary steps to start the business. Later, when Quick Quack Car Wash had been built and was ready to accept customers, Quackals was overjoyed. Jason drove Quackals there in his sparkling red car that had been the first of many to get spotlessly clean at this new wash.

Quackals felt his heart pound when he saw it. Quick Quack Car Wash was now reality. He relished it. The building looked exactly like what they had planned months earlier. Quackals was proud.

Jason had tears in his eyes. This was exactly the business he had been searching for. It was a dream come true.

And that is why today, years later, Quick Quack Car Wash still has amazing services, and why Quackals is the fun-loving mascot of a revolutionary business.

 

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