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a mallard hen.
Terry and Jillian and Alex, who is now more like someone who lives at our house than he is a boyfriend since he eats all our food and goes everywhere with us, went to the ceramics shop yesterday. It was the first time I had been in there since the opening and it really has gotten busy. There were huge vases and pots and ashtrays and animals--all of 'em in different stages of completion.

"Check out this duck," Terry said to all of us once we got inside and settled at a work table. He held up what was definitely the shape of a duck but not colored like any duck that nature ever made; it looked more like a duck after a dog had eaten it and it came out the dog's butt intact.

"Terry...," Alex was the only one of us who could speak without laughing--Jillian and I were snorting back laughter.

"Have you ever seen a duck?" Alex kept a straight face. "That's a mallard hen and they are beautiful. They don't look anything like a turd."

"I think it's a lovely duckling." Ms. Harriet heard the whole thing and put her arm around Terry and he smiled at us, half looking at us and half with his face staring at Ms. Harriet's chest.

"In order to paint something," Jillian laughed her comment, "you have to look at it once in a while."

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