A Duck Story

My name is Reverend Samuel. I’m 79 years old as of July 31st and was born in Aiken, South Carolina 1944. One of the most memorable experiences in my life was when I was four and five years old. Can everyone hear me? 

When I was four and five years old, I say the most memorable because I had a life event that somewhat traumatized me, but compared to what black people were going through in the South, what I experienced was nothing. I had childhood trauma; they had adult trauma. And my particular trauma was with a duck. Sounds crazy, but my grandmother in Aiken, South Carolina, had a lot of ducks, a lot of chickens, and biddies, which were baby chickens. But every time I would go out into the yard, one of her ducks used to chase me. I don’t know why, but it used to chase me and peck me in the back. And I would run around in the yard. I would be so frantic and so scared. I never knew why this duck always chased me. And I would run and run and run and run. The scene itself stuck with me for many years. 

And I remember after I came to New York, I used to notice they had restaurants with ducks turned upside down, roasted, hanging in the windows. And when I would see those ducks, believe it or not, I would smile. And you know why I would smile? Thinking about my grandmother’s duck hanging up in the window. And even now, it’s, and even now, it still makes me smile when I think about it. That’s my story. I’m smiling now. 

My grandmother’s name was Amelia Mosley. She was a pastor’s wife. My grandfather was a pastor, and from what I understand, he was one of the greatest preachers in our county. And he migrated to this country from Barbados. Yes. After my grandfather passed away in 1942, my grandmother raised me and four other cousins of mine by herself, and there were many wonderful memories. I loved my grandmother very much. She was an entrepreneur. She used to do laundry for other people and hang the laundry out on the line to dry in the air, and I never forget her. But when my grandmother passed away, I came up to New York, and when I came up, it was a whole new world for me. 

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