Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

A Family Christmas Secret Revealed and…Ducks?


This post was originally published on the FamilyStoryLegacy blog as part of a series called One Thing Thursdays. Guest bloggers tested their storytelling mettle by turning a partial sentence into a story of 300 words or fewer.  The Christmas series  began with this statement:

One thing I will always treasure about a particular Christmas is…

Today’s story comes from Kelley Strom, a talented writer who learned from her dad one Christmas what a blessing ducks can be…though she never learned to associate them with Christmas before this one day.

Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like…Ducks?

One thing I will always treasure about a particular Christmas is the Christmas Eve my dad let me be a part of a blessing he had never really shared with anyone else.

Like most men in the South, my daddy is a hunter.  If it quacks, flies, has horns, or will make a good sausage, it pretty much is gonna end up in our freezer.  The exception to this is ducks.  Dad loves to shoot them, but he has never been a fan of eating them. He never brought home the ducks he shot, but I’d never thought to ask him what he did with all the ducks.  One Christmas Eve, I learned.

I was home for college for Christmas and up earlier than the rest of the family drinking a cup of coffee when my dad came in from hunting.

“Mornin’, Bugs! Go get dressed.  We got some Christmas blessings to give.”

A Family Secret Revealed

I didn’t ask.  I just obeyed, which in and of itself was probably something of a Christmas miracle.  I jumped in the truck and rode silently, as my dad crossed the railroad tracks into the heart of a neighborhood I knew I was not allowed to drive through, ever.  He pulled up next to some men walking, got out of his truck, opened the tailgate and said, “Hey, I have some ducks here.  I shot them this morning.  You know anyone who needs Christmas dinner?”

Cautiously, people approached the truck to peer in and see that there were freshly killed ducks in the bed. They asked how much.  Dad said they’d be doing him a favor if they would just take them off his hands.  And that was that.  I watched as ducks were scooped up and divided up to be given to different homes in the neighborhood.

Dad and I got back in the truck and I looked at him, “All these years, have you been doing this?”

“Yep.”  He looked straight ahead and kept driving.

“Thanks for letting me be a part of the blessing this time.”

–Kelley Strom

“In the same way, so SHINE your LIGHT before men that they may see your good works and PRAISE your FATHER in heaven!” -Matthew 5:16


About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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