The Scarlet Duck | Teen Ink

The Scarlet Duck

May 16, 2023
By AllyHowell SILVER, Newington, Connecticut
AllyHowell SILVER, Newington, Connecticut
8 articles 0 photos 0 comments

"Come on, Indigo!" Said Scarlet as she left the house. "I want to get to the park while the sun is up. The duckies won't be out when the sun is gone!"

"I know, I know," Indigo replied, shutting the door behind him. "You've told me all about the duckies. By the way, do you have your gloves?"

"Yeah, I do," Scarlet said, holding up her red bag. "They're in here."

After a bit of walking through the sunny forest, Scarlet and Indigo stood before the park. The playground was tall and the sun reflected off of the lake. Scarlet spotted a group of ducks in the water and couldn't contain her excitement.

"There they are," Indigo said, looking at Scarlet. "Let's go so we can get a closer look at them."

Scarlet happily skipped to the edge of the field while Indigo walked beside her. As they both sat down in the grass, Scarlet grabbed her bag and pulled out a bag of bread.

"Scarlet," Indigo said, gently putting his hand over hers. "What are you doing? You're not supposed to feed bread to the ducks, it's not good for them."

Scarlet's expression faded from excited and cheerful to saddened.

"I'm not?" Scarlet replied, looking out into the pond. "I thought the duckies loved bread."

Indigo smiled at her and sighed. He knew how happy she was when she got the bread to feed to the ducks, and he felt horrible having to shut it down.

"Well, they do," He said, trying to be gentle with how he worded it to her. "But that doesn't mean they should still be eating it. Kind of like how you really like the taste of cupcakes, but it doesn't exactly mean they're good for you. Think about it."

Scarlet tried to find a bright side to the situation, but she struggled. She put the bread back in her bag and moved on to do something else.

Scarlet had decided that if she couldn't feed the ducks, she would try to pet one instead. She reached out to the closest duck she saw, and she gently placed her hand on its feathers.

What Scarlet didn't consider was that her excitement activated her power, and she wasn't wearing her gloves. The duck's feathers turned bright red.

"Oh, Scarlet," Indigo said, trying to stay calm. "I thought you said you had your gloves with you."

"I do," Scarlet replied. "But I forgot to put them on. I'm sorry."

Scarlet felt guilty, and a bit embarrassed. She didn't like this feeling, and tears came to her eyes. Indigo felt bad and tried to comfort her by offering to help the situation.


"It's okay," Indigo said. "But we can't leave the duck like that. Someone may think it's hurt since it's all red. Here."

Indigo reached his hand out to the duck and gently pet it across its back. The duck's feathers turned from all red to a red design with dark blue swirls along its wings and back.

"Wow," Scarlet said, becoming excited again and clapping her hands with happiness. "Now we have a very pretty duckie. Thank you, Indigo."

"You're welcome," Indigo said, sympathizing with her happiness and smiling brightly. "I know you mean well. Just try to be more careful."

Indigo's design made Scarlet feel much better about her mistake. She loved how their colors looked together. They both sat on the grass together and watched the scarlet duck.

The author's comments:

This is a children's story using the prompt "Write about somebody whose intentions are pure, but somehow always manages to do the wrong thing" from Reedsy prompts.

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