Submitted by Ken Hesselbacher
The long, cold winter finally ended and Eric and Pe-Pa knew for certain that the ducks would be returning to Bronxville Lake. They also knew that the ducks would be very hungry. Since it was Easter time, Eric asked Grandy for some challah bread for the ducks. Grandy had just one loaf of challah bread which she gave to Eric. Although Pe-Pa did not think that they would be able to feed all the ducks with just one loaf, Eric was confident that they could accomplish the mission. And, indeed, although a record number of ducks had returned, Eric was able to feed each and every one of them, which would come to be known as “the miracle of the ducks”. This would be a wonderful story if it ended at this point.
Sadly, the story does not end here. It seems that there is a law in Westchester that prohibits the feeding of wildlife in any parks. And to make matters worse, there was a Game Warden present who attempted to apprehend the lawbreakers. Eric and Pe-Pa immediately started running as fast as they could! Unfortunately, two-year-old Eric does not run as fast as he will in a few years, and seventy-five-year old Pe-Pa does not run as fast as he did a few years ago. They were caught before they could cross the county line! Since it was an election year, the District Attorney wanted to prove that he was a strong law and order candidate. Eric told Pe-Pa not to worry, he was confident that he could make a case that would prove them to be innocent of the charges. Due to their respective ages, the District Attorney offered a plea bargain of three years in prison, at which time they would be granted compassionate release, so Eric could start school and Pe-Pa whatever he wanted. Neither one accepted the plea bargain and of course, neither one of them flipped on the other!
As the trial commenced, Eric invoked The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which contained a little known provision allowing the very young and the very old to feed hungry ducks. Of course, the current Washington Administration was presently trying to revoke this law. Eric stated, “Even if the law was repealed and not replaced, we would have been “grandfathered in” and protected by the existing law!”
And, at trial end, both Eric and Pe-Pa were declared innocent and walked out of the courtroom free men. As they were leaving, Pe-Pa said, “Eric, did you have a backup plan?” Eric replied, “Yes, I had a very special witness to testify on our behalf -- Donald Duck!”
As Pe-Pa’s old friend Paul Simon would say, “We would not be convicted by a jury of our peers -- still crazy after all these years.”
Or, as Eric’s old friend Bill Shakesphere would say, “All’s well that ends well.”
Although there are real people and animals contained in this article, it is mostly a work of fiction intended for the amusement and enjoyment of the writers and readers.