A duck for dark days

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Fup, A Modern Fable by Jim Dodge

Things are bleak. But there is always light somewhere.

In the crescendorious chaos of current events, I happened across a little book which reminded me that humans are mostly very, very good.

Introducing, Fup.

“Her walk was foolishly graceful, a hunched, toppling waddle that barely managed to sustain itself… a movement somewhere between a clumsy sneak and a hypnotic search.”

Tiny moved in with Grandaddy Jake after he was orphaned at the age of five. Tiny has a penchant for building fences (I suspect this is due to the circumstances surrounding the death of his mother, not intrinsic racism) and one day, whilst digging post holes, he finds a duckling. Barely clinging to life, it is immediately revived by Jake’s home-brewed whisky, the aptly named, Death Whisper.

So begin the glory years of living with Fup; a bulshy waterfowl with an unending appetite and utter disregard for partaking in the traditional activities of a duck… I felt an immediate affinity with her; just replace the word ‘duck’ with ‘girl’ or, ‘adult’.

You may think that the capers of a hundred-year-old whisky brewer, his comedically oversized grandson and their somewhat oversized duck may seem lacking in possibility but if you are thinking that, you are wrong, sorry. This modern fable, first published in 1997, is a golden nugget of wonderful.

So bury your devices in a post hole, pour a tote of whisky (or squash) and swaddle yourself in the pages of Fup for a few hours.

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