This is Ducky Thomas:
Recently, Ducky Thomas had an adventure. He went to Richmond, Virginia on a trip. It wasn’t the grandest of trips, but it was exciting all the same. He went on this journey with me, as I took to the town as a speaker at the James River Writers Conference. Unfortunately, however, he did not attend the conference, as it cost quite a bit of money to pay the way for an attendee, and, well, ducks are just not allowed in the library. So, while I was away, he manned—er, ducked–the hotel room where he…well, I suppose I should let his words speak for themself:
“I’ve never gone on a trip before. For that matter, I’ve never gone anywhere before. Before this weekend, I had only been out of the bedroom, where I stay, just once to sit on Zach’s desk. He said he wanted to take my picture, which was okay with me, but ducks aren’t much on make-up, and don’t often pose for pictures, so I was a bit nervous about it all. And that was just for a picture! Imagine how I felt when he asked me if I wanted to go to Richmond! ‘Golly!’ I had exclaimed. ‘I don’t even know what a Richmond is, but I sure do want to see it!’ So, sure enough, he told me I could go, and went to something called, ‘Target’–which I believe is not far away, but must be a magical place, seeing as how he returned quickly with a wonderful black traveling house with wheels for me to ride in. Who knew there were such things in the world! It had plenty of room for me to rest comfortably, and I was able to keep all of Zach’s belongings safe during the trip–though I do have to admit that the darkness made me sleepy, and aside from some bumpy moments, I slept quite a lot. Fortunately, no one tried to open the house, and before I knew it, Zach was opening the door and I opened my sleepy eyes to see something amazing! It was a brand new place, much bigger than the bedroom I’m usually in! And, it had a really big window that let me see one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen! Ever ever!
Well, boy, was I excited! I just sat in that window ALL day long! And when it got dark, everything got all sprinkled in little lights everywhere. It sure was incredible! Zach was gone most of the time, where he said he was spending time with the Righter people, who like to talk about the Righter things. Apparently, Zach knows something of this Righting, because he was very excited about all that he had done while he was there. He was almost as excited as I was about seeing the Richmond all day! Well, anyway, he told me that he sat on a panel about religion, which does sound kind of unpleasant, and maybe a little painful, but he didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all, so I guess it’s not that bad. I listened as he talked about his adventures that day, and then the next day too. He spent an awful lot of time with the Righters, where they talked about the Right way to do things, I suppose. It’s good that people try to be Right, I’ve been told, so it’s even better that they have conferences to discuss it. Zach said that the people there liked him so much that they bought all of the books that were for sale! Yay for Zach! He said that there were more panels that he sat on (I still don’t know why he sat on them, but, I’m just a duck, and will not understand, I guess). There was one on Fan Tah See, which is, according to Zach, about make-believe stuff that is in stories, and sometimes has dragons, magic, and shallow vampire characters that only little girls like. And then there was the one on Die A Log, which is a funny name to me. I mean, from what I could tell from my perch over the Richmond, it seems to me that logs–which I know from a television show that I watched with Zach, come from trees–are very pretty, and very helpful to things. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to kill one. But Zach made it sound kind of delightful, and said that the Righter people asked a lot of really neat questions about Die A Log that he, and two other Righters by the names of David L. Robbins, and Lauren Oliver, answered. I don’t know them, but they sound neat!
Well, he just seemed to really enjoy his time, which was wonderful to hear, because I was beginning to worry that I might be having too much fun looking at the Richmond–more fun than Zach–and that made me feel bad. I didn’t want Zach to miss out on the fun, either. He did sit with me for a while watching the sun rise one morning, which was really neat! I had never seen that before either! I was glad he got to see it too, though he had to leave before I could tell him that. But I think he already knew. So, I guess that was pretty much it, after that. Zach said he met lots of new people, and that there was something funny about something he said the Righters called a, ‘humanzee.’ I don’t know what that is, but as I’ve said, I’m a duck, and I don’t really know too much about things. Zach told me, as he was putting me back in the black, boxy house, with wheels that he hoped that he could keep in contact with his new friends, and that some of them were really nice, and pretty good Righters that needed to simply believe in themselves a bit more. I liked the way that sounded, and so I just smiled at Zach, closed my eyes, and fell asleep. The next thing I knew, we were home again.
I don’t have to stay in the bedroom anymore. Now I get to spend time on Zach’s desk while he does his Righting. It makes me happy. But not as happy as knowing that Zach has promised to take me to other new places too! I can’t wait!