“Hey girl how are you? I got you a latte.”

“Lovely, thank you. I’m grand, same ding dong, different day. What’s new with you?”

“Well the kids have a half day, I was thinking of taking them for a walk and maybe feeding the ducks by the river. Do you wanna come with us?”

“Oh Jesus no!”

“What’s the matter?”

“I actually just broke out in a cold sweat there at the thought of it.”

“What do you mean? At the thought of feeding ducks?”

“Yeah! Look, something happened when I was young and I kind of never got over it.”

“Jesus, do you want to talk about it?”

“I just can’t be anywhere near ducks.”

“I didn’t even realise they could be scary, do they attack people?”

“Basically, when I was about two or three years old my mum took me to feed the ducks. I was so excited, had my bag of stale bread and everything. We were at the lough and I tripped over and fell. All the bread came out of the bag on top of me and next thing all these ducks were pecking at me, eating the bread off me but in my mind they were trying to peck me to death. I was fucking traumatised.”

“I’m sorry for laughing but come on, it is a small bit funny.”

“It’s really not, like. I was flailing around on the ground and they wouldn’t stop pecking me. It was like being stabbed by little tiny sticks, their beaks pecking at me. I remember it so clearly and I have a huge duck phobia now. Like even if I happen to see one out my car window when I’m driving I get the sweats. Like I instantly start sweating and almost having a panic attack.”

“What are you going to do if your kids ever want to feed ducks?”

“I’ve already told them that ducks are extremely violent and that if they go near them the ducks will bite their fingers off. They haven’t really had any interest since I told them that.”

“So now they will spend their lives scared of ducks too.”

“Yeah, and with good reason! They are evil little bastards, peck, peck, pecking away at everything til it’s destroyed!”

“Alright calm down! We can just go to the playground instead. Drink your latte and calm your pants girl, I’m sorry I ever mentioned ducks.”

“That’s okay. Just don’t ever mention them again.”