Emma’s Ducks

Emma’s Ducks

From Chicken Soup for the College Soul

Emma’s Ducks

The winter of 1966 hit our university in upstate New York with a ferocity unrivaled in decades. For three days straight, the snow swirled and billowed, burying the isolated campus. Here and there stray groups of students struggled single file against the weather, like ducklings following their mother across a road. The female students in dormitory B were confronted with the same problem plaguing the general population of the university.

“How are we going to get to the cafeteria?” asked one.

“We’re not,” answered another. “Everything out there is white. You can’t see anything.”

A gleam came into the eye of the third girl. She shushed the others’ whining, saying triumphantly, “Emma could do it.”

The whining turned to murmurs of excitement. “Emma!” “She even manages through the city.” “We could follow her.” “You’re a genius!”

The girls whooped, yelled and clapped for joy. They bundled up and excitedly trooped down the hall to Emma’s room. They found her in the hallway and cornered her before she could even open her door.

“What’s all the excitement?” she asked, smiling.

“Can we follow you to the cafeteria? We’re blind in this storm.”

They all laughed.

“I suppose so. I’ll go first, and you could hold on to each other’s shoulders.”

“Can we go now?” one girl begged. “I’m starving.”

Emma smiled again. “Sure, let me just get Missy ready.”

She went into her room and returned moments later with a dog on a harness. The girls lined up obediently at the front door, ready to face the cold. They each placed their hands on the shoulders of the girl in front of them.

Emma opened the door to lead them out. “I guess,” she smiled, “you could call this the blind leading the seeing.”

And with that, Emma and her seeing-eye dog, Missy, led her troop of hungry ducks to the cafeteria.

Paul Karrer

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