Narrator: On a beautiful autumnal mid-October morning, the Asher blue sky above is in tune with the cold, crisp air, like a freshly picked Granny Smith apple, while the sun shines brightly through the treetops. Bernard Johnson, a retired postal worker of 47 years, sat on a park bench, feeding Oscar, a beautifully colored Mallard duck, who, for the past two years, always waited patiently for Bernard to feed him pieces of white bread.
Narrator: This particular morning’s feeding was unusual when Bernard pulled a bag of birdseed from his pocket and not the usual white bread. A little surprised, Oscar initially attempted to eat the birdseed but did not like the taste. Oscar stopped eating to give Bernard a look of shock, and finally, he spoke.
Oscar: Bernard, what the hell is this stuff?
Bernard: Oscar, It’s birdseed and has protein and fiber. I was told that I should not feed you bread.
Oscar: And who told you this?
Bernard: A wildlife conservationist who talked at the Petco store about what to feed wildlife, particularly the ducks.
Oscar: I speak for all the ducks in this park, and we eat bread! Preferably Pepperidge Farms Hearty White bread.
Bernard: Well, I don’t have any bread this morning, so I’m sorry.
Narrator: Charlie, an American Tree Squirrel, who had overheard their conversation, scurried down from a tree limb above, sat on his hind legs, and greeted Bernard and Oscar with a happy “good morning.” Bernard and Oscar responded in return for a good morning.
Charlie: Hey, good morning Bernard, I will eat those seeds. I will store some in my mouth and eat as many as possible. Thank you!
Narrator: So immediately, Charlie hurriedly moves about eating as much of the birdseed and storing some inside his cheeks as Bernard and Oscar look on.
Bernard: Go ahead, Charlie, and enjoy yourself, but I have squirrel food for you.
Narrator: Charlie stops and stares at Bernard, saying I will eat anything you put on the ground, Bernard, thanks.
Bernard: Hey Oscar and Charlie, how come you two never spoke to me before?
Oscar: We never talk while eating, except for Charlie.
Charlie: Yeah, Bernard, we also wanted to ensure the guy bringing us food daily was safe.
Bernard: How do you two know my name?
Charlie: My cousin Edgar lives near your house, and he has heard your wife, Elizabeth, yell to you to go take a walk in the park.
Bernard: Oh, ok.
Oscar: Hey, Bernard, why did you give us names?
Bernard: I named you both after my two sons, who are grown up with their own families, but from time to time, they call to ask’s for money.
Oscar: Do you give it to them?
Bernard: Well, I do; I’ll do anything to help my two sons.
Oscar: Tomorrow, bring Charlie and me some Pepperidge Farms Hearty White bread in the morning.
Charlie: Yeah, Bernard, I would prefer the bread; we get the wildlife food in the afternoon from another group of retirees.
Bernard: Ok, I will, sorry you guys.
Charlie: Oh, Bernard, do not tell Elizabeth or anyone you spoke to us because they may not let you come back to the park.
Oscar: Yeah, Bernard, not a word.
Narrator: Now that is what happens after the woman you love sends you out of the house to take a walk in the park.