Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Story of the day: Little Duck

Almost 25 years ago, when I was working at the paper in Augusta, Ga., we had a writing workshop. The guy running the workshop handed out a story I had never heard of, about a soldier who died in Vietnam and how his body was received in his small town back home. That story holds first place in my Great Stories folder, and I still read it every couple of months. But it hasn't been available online for years.

Until now.

My friends at Gangrey.com have brought the story back, with a note from the author's daughter. I urge you, more than usual, to read this story. Share your thoughts in the comments.

(And FYI, if you love great stories, and great discussions about stories, go poke around in the Gangrey archives. You can get lost in there.)


Anonymous said...

Goosebumps. Great story.

Anonymous said...

Very moving.

Anonymous said...

Little Duck died the year I graduated from high school. The Viet Nam war was really REAL to Americans then because we "visited" Nam and had lists of the dead every single night from Walter Cronkite.. not to mention we saw the coffins being unloaded as well.
This was a lovely, albeit sad, story about one soldier and is well worth reading.

Ronald said...

I am going to print out the story of Little Duck. The story is told in such a simple, almost matter of fact way and I think that is power of it.

In 1970 I was 20 and went to Springmaid Beach with my mother, father, brother and sisters. I was still a kid. Jasper graduated in 1968 like me and showed up at Springmaid as well.

He had scars all over his chest from Vietnam that he didn't talk about.

And there I was still going on vacation with mommy and daddy.

Thank you Jasper, for your service.
I've always considered you a hero.

Ronnie Sowell

Michael Solender said...

Poignant and touching, the piece is sadly as topical today as the day it was written.

Perhaps you can explain the construction of this sentence which left me pondering the use of "gray" vs. "grey."

But as the grey hearse arrived bearing the gray Army coffin, a summer rain began to fall.

Lynne Stevenson said...

What a beautiful and haunting tribute. This is the true epitome of writing.

tommy tomlinson said...

Michael, I had never noticed that before... Anybody have any ideas why there's a "grey" and a "gray" in the same sentence?

I've always understood them to be interchangeable, or for "grey" to be the British version...