Disastrous disappearance of the duck pond

Disclaimer: The work of the Broken Compass is entirely satirical


Katie Wallace

History teacher Melvin Trotier gazes longingly out his window towards where his beloved duck pond used to be. Trotier says that the disappearance of the pond has taken a toll on him. “At this point, I did the sad, depressive [stage] this morning, and now I am at anger. I am working through my stages [of grief],” Trotier said.

As of 7:38 a.m, Monday morning, history teacher Melvin Trotier’s life was drastically changed. What changed, you may ask? His emotional support duck pond has up and waddled away. 

“The duck pond came into existence on a permanent basis right around the time of COVID-19,” Trotier said. “It provided me with some peace and serenity in those trying and troubled times. If I was having a bad day or struggling with an online class, I could simply look out my window with the duck pond, watch the ducks and the geese swimming about, and it would help calm me. It’s been an important part of my daily life ever since.”

Junior Emily McClurg shared that the pond also has great significance in her life, and the disappearance of the ducks has made her feel quite ‘fowl.’

“I get to school at 6:30 or 6:40 a.m. every day with either some food or coffee to enjoy the sunrise and listen to music with my windows down. Being one of the only people there in the morning, I get a great view of the ducks in their morning glory, and I get to hear them quacking and see them waddling about,” McClurg said. “They make my mornings better. When I got to school this morning, I looked at the pond, and it wasn’t there, and I felt a drop in my stomach. I wondered if the ducks were as sad as I was.”

The duck pond pre-disaster. (Katie Wallace)

This pond impacted both Trotier’s classes and his life, just as it has impacted McClurg’s, working its way into the first day of class among grade policies and syllabi. 

“I discovered [the disappearance] this morning, a few minutes into the first hour, and, since then, my day has been untethered. I felt disconnected and distracted the whole day. I’m trying to have class, and all I can focus on is number one, where did the pond go? Ponds don’t just disappear. And two, more importantly, what has become of the ducks?” Trotier said. “The duck population was the highest it’s ever been in the spring, with at least a dozen or more ducks. Now I don’t know where they’ve gone. I don’t know where they will get their food. I don’t know if they’re safe. It’s been very disconcerting, to tell you the truth.”

So where did this pond go? On average, a pond will lose around 1 inch of water per week to evaporation. However, Trotier has other theories, namely the ongoing construction on campus.

I don’t want to name names too early. I don’t want to show my cards quite yet. I need to have a little bit more confirmation. I have some wild

The view from Trotier’s window of the former site of the duck pond.

conjectures and a few other theories that I want to flesh out,” Trotier said. “I’ve already got some questions out there, feelers if you will. I got some surveillance cameras I’m going to be checking and things like that. I’ll be following up with some of the internet chatter that I’ve seen as well. I hesitate to call [my theories] conspiracy theories. Something or someone didn’t want me to have this pond. They didn’t like it here. I need to get to, if you’ll pardon the pun, I need to get to the bottom of it quickly, to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again or that it doesn’t start happening to other ponds.”

McClurg has a very different theory.

“I think the geese did it, because they were mad that the ducks were happy,” McClurg said. “I like the geese, but they are bullies. They need to go get their own pond and stop pooping on our parking lot.”

No matter why or how the pond disappeared, Trotier is planning out his next steps.

“My first priority is making sure the ducks are safe and that they are not wandering the streets. I’m hoping and judging from the footprints, duck prints, if you will, that the ducks have taken refuge in the surrounding trees down there for the time being. Beyond that, I’m going to look at the causes, try to repair the pond basin and then get it refilled so we can bring the ducks back and replace the pond to its former glory,” Trotier said. “I think it’s hard to say [how far I’m willing to go] but, given the emotional attachment, I don’t want to put a limit on my actions at this point or how many how many students I’m willing to sacrifice to make this happen. I think that’s a chance that I’m willing to take on the [duck’s] behalf.”

Trotier has also issued a statement to the general public.

“I think the biggest thing is, don’t lose hope,” Trotier said. “We will rebuild and we will be back stronger than ever.”