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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)

TITLE: Tuack-Tuack Saves the Day
By Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse
11/17/09
~1st Place


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Tuack-Tuack was a duck.

A yellow rubber duck.

And he lived with five other ducks in the land of Ba-throom. It was a small land, with precarious ledges, a white sky, and a lake that drained and filled without warning, but the ducks loved it…all except Tuack-Tuack, who had never found the courage to venture off the ledge. The fall to the water was too steep, and the whirlpool at the far end made his body shake.

Tuack-Tuack was a yellow scaredy-duck.

Every once in a while, two giants visited the land of Ba-throom to swim in the lake. Tuack-Tuack didn’t mind the big giant so much—it rarely swam, choosing instead to quietly watch from the banks—but the little giant was another story. It was loud and shrill and often made waves by smacking its hands in the water.

It was the little giant who had named him.

Fietuck-weeoo-weeoo had come second. He was a red duck from the land of Mar-ket.

“Look, it’s red!” the big giant had said the day Fietuck-weeoo-weeoo entered Tuack-Tuack’s world. “What else is red?”

“Fietuck!” the little giant had yelled while clapping its hands. “Weeeeeeooooo weeeeeeooooo weeeeeooooo!”

Dwass, a green duck from the land of Carni-val, came next. Then Pincess, a pink duck from the land of Mall, and Watuh, a blue duck from Grand Mas-house.

Last had been Tider. Tider was the newest member of the group. Sometimes the others roared after they said Tider’s name—as the little giant had done—but most of the time they just said Tider and left it at that.

“Atten-hut!” Dwass’ bellow filled the lake. “Move out!”

Knowing that a whirlpool always followed the giants’ departure, the other ducks hurried to obey.

“Why we have to live and breathe by the giants’ whims is beyond me,” Fietuck-weeoo-weeoo griped, flinging himself onto the ledge and shoving his way past Tuack-Tuack to the corner.

“Roll call!” Dwass shouted once they were all out of the water. “Fietuck-weeoo-weeoo?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m here.”

“Watuh?”

Silently, Watuh nodded, and Tuack-Tuack declared him “here.”

“Pincess?”

“I do declare,” Pincess answered in her slow, honey-laced drawl, “my paint is peelin’ off ‘round the edges! However did that happen?”

“Tider? Tider? Has anyone seen Tider?”

They all looked around, and Tuack-Tuack’s heart jumped to his throat. “There,” he choked out. “By the whirlpool.” A sickening pit opened in his stomach as he watched his friend being slowly sucked toward the far end of the lake.

“Oh! Oh! That poor little sugah’s gonna drown!”

“We need a plan,” Dwass blustered. “Yes, that’s it. A plan.”

“Let him get himself out,” Fietuck-weeoo-weeoo groused, settling down for a nap. “He got himself into this mess.”

“Why that’s just plain awful!” Pincess declared.

With a sigh, Watuh turned toward the wall and hunkered down. “He’s done for. No one escapes the whirlpool.”

Dwass’ pacing increased. “We need a plan. A good soldier always has a plan.”

“Oh,” Pincess moaned. “Oh, Tuack-Tuack, you just gotta do somethin’! Look at him!”

“Me?” Tuack-Tuack gulped. “But—I’ve never left the ledge!”

“Oh, you just gotta!” Pincess sniffed. “Fietuck-weeoo-weeoo and Watuh aren’t gonna do anythin’! Look at them over there in that corner.”

“What—what about Dwass? He’s the soldier,” Tuack-Tuack tried.

“Oh, Tuack-Tuack, he’s too busy plannin’ to do anythin’! You gotta help Tider!”

Tuack-Tuack bit his lip, feeling his rubber start to sweat. No. He couldn’t.

But that meant Tider was going to drown.

“Ohhhhh.” Tuack-Tuack buried his head. “Ohhhhh.”

“Help!” Tider’s cry pierced his ears. “Help!”

Without thinking, Tuack-Tuack threw himself from the ledge and felt warm water flood over him. “Gotta. Save. Tider.”

“Help!”

Floating with the current, Tuack-Tuack soon reached Tider and grabbed his wing. “On the count of three, swim! Three!” Together, Tider and Tuack-Tuack pushed against the force of the whirlpool, which was quickly drawing them closer.

“I can’t!” Tider yelled.

“Yes, you can! Swim!”

The two grunted and groaned as they resisted the savage pull until finally Tuack-Tuack could touch the ledge.

“Climb up,” he ordered, letting Tider climb over his back.

Above them, Dwass helped to pull both to safety.

Tuack-Tuack squeaked as he squeezed water out of his ear.

And then it sank in:

The yellow-bellied Tuack-Tuack…had been brave.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sherrie Jackson11/20/09
I LOVE THIS. My gosh. If only I could be this cute and creative!
Rachel Phelps11/23/09
Awesome creativity, and I LOVE the ducks' names. Precious story.
Jim McWhinnie 11/24/09
Cracker Jack story filled with good-humored wit yet a certain measure of pathos.
Lollie Hofer 11/25/09
I liked the distinct characterization of each of the ducks. Very unique and original. I could easily see this as a picture book for the preschool/primary age child. I'm serious when I say you should pursue having this story published. I
Allen Stark11/25/09
Yes. Any kid would love hearing, especially hearing, this story read to them. Go for it.
Rachel Phelps11/26/09
CONGRATS!!! I knew this one would place high. Well done!
Barbara Lynn Culler11/26/09
Oh this is just too cute! I could visualize everything! Congrats-well deserved.
Lisa Johnson 11/26/09
Awesome... you were bang on with the childish pronunciation, my grandson sounds alot like that! Congrats on your win!
Francy Judge 11/26/09
Congratulations. I agree that this deserved to win. A very creative, fun story with great characters.
Sherrie Jackson11/26/09
Just had to come back and say congratulations!! I'm so glad this took first, it is such a fun, fun read. Very happy for you!
Patricia Turner11/26/09
Just put some iwustwashuns with this and you've got the making of a classic baf-time stowy. Congratulations on your 1st place and EC win! WooHoo!! Well deserved!
Marita Thelander 11/26/09
Great ending! I love the names, too. Congratulations.
Flerida Dela Pena12/01/09
I love the article. I find it very entertaining but at the same time, it touches me. I felt myself becoming the main character in the story. As I continue to read the article, I felt the urge saving a friend. But like Tuack-tuack, I sometimes never think I had the courage to do that.
Faithful Okoye12/01/09
I really like this story. I'm writing a story with this technique(alter names a little so it will be foreign but recognizable)
I really like your dialogue. I wish though that there was more tension in the end. For example, "the tides were pulling him back. He could feel his rubber wings tearing. He looked back and the waves poured on his face, blinding his eyes.
Ahead, he could hear Dw*** crying for help. Could he ever make it?"
Something like that.
I guess it was time that restrained you but please keep it up.
Jessica Sommerfield12/01/09
This is adorable! a very enjoyable read. :)
Celeste Duckworth05/11/10
I simply LOVED this! I remembered my mother telling me to be brave. Congratulations on your win.