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THE POOR DUCKS
by sword

Ducks taste delicious, especially when toasted. Occasionally, Mom cooked us a delectable duck meal: duck livers and hearts were fried with noodles, thighs roasted, and the rest stewed with carrots and potatoes. Unlike most Americans who could easily obtain duck meat from grocery stores, my mother bought ducks alive. She once told me that fresh meat tastes better than frozen meat in the market. That was why Mom preferred to slaughter ducks instead of going to the store.

"You're going to like today dinner soup," Mom told me as I helped her unpack a big square box, the sized of a 27" TV. I didn't realize that she put ducks in the box. I saw two huge ducks and was frightened when one of them jumped over the edge of the box, trying to escape. I quickly snatched its tail and then put it back where it was originally from. Two of the feathers came out and I felt sorry for hurting the duck. Anyway, I was looking forward for a delicious duck soup that evening.

Mom came out from the kitchen with a knife and a big grin on her face. "My boy, get the biggest duck out of the box and come over here," she called me. The duck was so strong that I could not manage it without it leaving a scratch on my hand. It looked at the shining knife in my mother's hand hopelessly, and cried out loudly as if its life was about to be taken away. When I carried the duck to my mom, she held its yellowish beak tightly in her hand. I held the wings behind its back firmly like a police putting handcuff onto the prisoners' wrists. After that, I tilted the duck up high by locking its legs together tightly in my right hand, so its neck would be down right above a bowl. Finally, Mom was ready to cut the duck's throat.

She let the knife down and then pluck some of the feathers near its neck. Since blood accumulates down this area, the skin looked purple. Then, she took the knife and slowly sliced the skin on this spot. The duck was writhing in agony, and blood started to squirt everywhere. I felt its wings snapped in my hand. Blood was dripping slowly onto the bowl, and making small bubbles. After all of the duck's blood was drawn out, Mom sliced its throat a couple of times, so it would die quickly. Unfortunately, the duck was still alive and it escaped when we put it down onto the ground, believing that it was dead.

It ran away like a bloody soldier in combat trying to escape: stumbling, and not being able to keep its head up high. The duck was grasping for air miserably, which produced a shrieking sound. One could see that its throat was cut half open, and several drops of blood were still trickling down its neck, which now soaked the feathers. It kept running until it hit a tree, as if it the world was upside down. It fell back and Mom caught it. With a tree branch, Mom hit the duck's head hard several times but still it didn't give up. Blood permeates its soggy eyes, half opened awfully. With determination, I found a big glass of bottle and gave it to my mom. With two big thrashes on its head, the duck struggled no more.

I was about to put the duck in boiling water in order to pick out the feathers, but Mom told me that since ducks have a lot of tiny feathers which take a lot of time to pick all out, we should skin the duck to save time. I liked this idea because ducks have a lot of fat that sticks onto its skin and tastes bad.

Now, everything became simple for the duck was dead. It was my turn to hold the duck's head up high about my waist, so Mom could cut around the neck in order to peel off the skin. Slowly we peel the skin, and if one part didn't come out, we cut another piece and started peeling from there on. At first, it looked really horrible, but I gradually got used to it. The duck looked really handsome when we finished peeling its skin -- no feathers, no skin or fat, but only meat. However, it seemed twice smaller than it was before.

When we finished, we put it in the big bucket of warm water. Mom got the duck out and cut the body open. I found many small eggs and some big eggs, but they were all crushed because Mom hit the duck too hard with the stick. After that, we put it in a bowl with its organs. The most exciting part was that when we opened the stomach, we found several things that the duck ate like rocks, and all the stuffs you could find on the ground.

Afterwards, we soaked the organs in salty water to get rid of the bad smell. We cooked it until the water boiled and then took it out. We put the duck on a cutting board, and we cut it in small pieces. Then, we put them and the organs in soup. We would put soup in a huge bowl, and we'd take some of the big meat out and put it on a tray so people would enjoy its fresh meat. We pounded meat into tiny pieces and mixed them up with the duck blood. We let the blood harden and then put lemon juice on its surface.

Finally, our family gathered in a big table excitedly, and enjoyed the so delicious duck soup and its fresh meat and blood.


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