Our AV machines are street legal here in Montana. I like my little red 4-wheeler, but, my husband is passionate about riding his. I often choose to ride with him.
Riding through the neighborhood, I like the alleys best. They aren’t so busy. As we go through there is always a cacophony from the neighborhood dogs. The little rocks sputter and ping as the wide tires crunch through gravel. Up ahead my husband scans for mud puddles. I hear the machine splish and splash. Brown mud plops.
He teases, and tells me I finally got to 25 mph. He tells me he worries that someone will run over me. He shakes his head and says; “Just give it the onion and go.”
I’m content putt-zing along. The breeze kisses my cheeks. Watching the cottontails scamper away. The neighbors wave. My students live in the area. They wave and yell as we go by. Sometimes I hear them call, “Hello, Mrs. Ferris” other times I hear them turn to adults and yell “She’s my librarian.”
Often we travel to a small park and watch the ducks. They scurry from the water listing back and forth as they make their way to the top of the hill. The adventurous ones come within a couple of feet. All are honking and quacking loudly. The brave determined ones peck at anyone in their way. Pushing them aside, occasionally pulling out feathers as they try to reach us first.
There are babies already half grown, others just starting out. All are quick and move away from outstretched hands. They are masters at quick deployments. I’ve watched children run hoping to catch a duck to pet.
The other day we watched a toddler in the center of a gaggle of ducks. They were waddling, around her, concentrating on the manna falling from the sky. Maybe she will grow up to be a duck wrangler. Mallards and hens tumble over each other as they again head for the diitch. Ripples move outward, lapping against the rocks as the ducks float by. The wind picks up my long hair and plays with it like a lover, as we ride. I laugh as I hurry to catch up.