Identity Crisis: It Bugs One Until They’re Daffy

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Identity Crisis: It Bugs One Until They’re Daffy

Human identity is the most fragile thing that we have, and it’s often only found in moments of truth.” -Alan Rudolph

Sam didn’t start off feeling like he was at war with himself.  Until a friend made a casual observation, Sam had never really questioned his identity.  Was he an outgoing type that waddled around, or was he the twitchy type that scurried off whenever danger approached?  Sam used to act on his instinct and treat life on a case by case basis.  But the more others made observations, the more he felt like he had to fit into one category or the other.  When it came to his identity, there was no gray matter according to Sam’s cohorts.  It all came down to one question:  Was Sam a duck or a rabbit?

To everyone around him, it seemed like the simplest of questions.  Ducks swam in water, rabbits liked dry land.  Sam tried to reason with them that ducks still breathed air and walked on the grass.  Also, rabbits could swim.  Why should he have to choose?

The arguments only got more intense.  Ducks had bills, rabbits had teeth.  Ducks had feathers, rabbits had fur.  Ducks quacked loudly while rabbits barely made a sound.  Surely Sam could figure out which he was and stick to that.

The trouble was, Sam didn’t see the discussion as black and white.  There were days when he woke up and found himself feeling quite sociable.  He would walk around, see some friends, and quack merrily to them.  He flapped his wings excitedly while telling a story and swam in a nearby lake with a tight formation of his friends joining in the fun.

Then there were times when Sam wanted to shut the world out.  He poked his head out of his habitat early in the morning, looked around, and tried to avoid the crowds.  He went out, got his breakfast, and came straight home.  He might huddle around a few close friends, but he wasn’t always in the mood to see other animals.  Sam had a pile of books on his shelves at home and was quite content to spend quiet hours reading them.

ImageThe other animals liked Sam; there was no question about that.  Still, they felt like they needed some sort of a resolution.  When they saw him, they didn’t know how to treat him from day to day.  Would this be a good day to go for a swim, or was he going to nibble on carrots?  Would he help them dig out a spot for a community bunker, or would he fly away from them?  Soon, sides were taken.  There were Sam’s swimming friends that thought he was at his best when he quacked and flapped in the pond with them.  Naturally, the more land-based critters showed where Sam had dug up a patch of carrots and had shared them with a needy family.  They argued that no duck could ever dig up a bundle of carrots, so therefore he must be a rabbit.

Sam grew weary of the pulling back and forth.  He liked his friends, both sets of them.  Finally, enough had been enough.  He couldn’t take the demands being placed upon him anymore.  Knowing that a mutual meeting place would keep feathers (and fur) from getting ruffled, Sam announced a gathering at the nearby park.  There, where the meadow gave way to the lake, Sam would address his friends.

The squirrels gathered with the raccoons and chittered about excitedly.  The frogs croaked to the trout and made their opinion known.  Soon, Sam appeared.  He thanked them all for coming and told them that he appreciated how much they all seemed to care.  Without further delay, he made his announcement.  He was going to continue to live as both rabbit and duck.

The ruckus from the gathered creatures was considerable.  Voices were raised, fur was angrily shed, and there was discord among the animals.  Sam racked his brain for what to do.  He had to restore order.  Then it happened.

The animals stopped their arguing and bickering as they heard an odd sound.  It was like two sounds emanating from the same source.  Sure enough, they turned around and found that both noises were coming from Sam.  He was quacking and thumping his foot against a hollow log.  The quack-drumming held all the animals’ attention.  It was true; Sam really could be part of both worlds.

There are still some tense moments in the animal kingdom.  Some animals can’t accept identity shifts easily and Sam does his best to be patient with them.  He’s the extrovert that lets others have the spotlight and the introvert who likes to party.  He is an excellent swimmer and digger.  There are things he still can’t do very well.  He’s not the greatest tree climber and he is hardly an intimidating figure.  But Sam does something that no other animal can do.  He is a very excellent Sam, and that’s all he ever wanted to be.

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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