Works in the Herald 1930

Amid intense excitement at the Commonwealth and New Zealand Egg-laying Competition at Croydon a white Indian Runner duck broke all records by laying three eggs in one day.

When one considers human things, and what small happiness it brings to individual or race, this fatuous and frantic chase for some unponderable thing that ever on elusive wing through youth and age soars on and on, and never is quite seized upon.

Men call it Comfort, Ease, Content, Security, Accomplishment, lacking today a longed-for thing that some tomorrow yet may bring. They strive for it in devious ways and waste long years of precious days, outwitting neighbors, laying schemes, drugging the mind with idle dreams of riches, luxury or power that, in the end, might prove a dower of mockery could men but see a short way in futurity.

And avidly the gift is sought by them who deem it may be bought, begged, stolen, borrowed in some way from folk more fortunate than they. "He has: I have not," is the cry. "Is it not meet that I should try to wrest from others what they've made, and live content and unafraid?"

Whether the planning meets success and schemers i the end possess, or, failing, waste an envious life in mean and unproductive strife, content remains still far away, for still insatiable they, e'er fail to overtake their need, and greed, unsated, lives on greed. They scheme, they dream and trust to luck, and lack the wisdom of one duck.

But yesterday no eggs were there; today three eggs are resting where a while ago their present place was occupied by worthless space. Not satisfied with one long egg, she did not strive to borrow, beg, or wheedle, like some soulless ghoul, the product of another fowl. Ambition swept her in a surge; she answered the creative urge; and, where mere nothing filled the nest, three fair, new eggs at present rest. New wealth has come unto the earth.

I do not know what eggs are worth; supposing but a penny piece - lo, she has striven to increase the worldly wealth, as all ducks should. The world is threepence to the good!

Brother, may we not emulate the humble duck, and so create.

Herald, 23 April 1930, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003