My mother was big into all kinds of things when Sis and I were kids. She had an on again, off again relationship with playing the flute (usually to Jethro Tull) for instance. At one point her big fascination was horses. She rode horses, she owned a horse or two, she traded a lovely souped-up Ford Fairlane 500 for a beat-up truck so she could haul hay around for horses. One day she ended up with a pony. Which is to say that someone gave her a pony.

You know that joke about people who want all the things, “and a pony”? Mom actually got the pony.

She paid nothing for this animal, so, seizing upon available inspiration, it was renamed to… Priceless. Priceless Pony.

I tell you this so that when you look at my cast of ducks and wonder how the cast-iron duck got stuck with “Rusty” for a name, you realize that the apple did not, in fact, fall far from the tree.