The Grand Auspicious

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The Grand Auspicious Secret Society of Tap Dancing Ducks


As the name suggests, the above society was a very exclusive collection of men who showcased their performing ducks atop of a variety of biscuit and cake tins, of various colours and thicknesses that resounded the impact of the flat feet.
Such a display attracted the crowds who could only wonder at the complexity of training, that was guarded by the secret society in order to create this mind boggling hypnotic spectacular performance.
The rapid uninterrupted lightning fast footwork on top of the biscuit tins seemed counter intuitive to the waddling exotic ducks, such as the Scaly Sided Merganizer duck, the Red Crested Pochard, the Hottentot Teal and the Asian White Winged Scota duck. The trainers themselves were bestowed in complementary robes and cloaks in accordance with the divine plumage that was particular to each tap dancing duck.

How could a humble Being ever be accepted into the veiled venue of such a sacred institution, that could finally reveal the ultimate truth.

There was such a humble Being, whose naivety had been penetrated by pompous piousness of a member of the palace of devout performers.
His life had been filled with tails most fowl, of a legendary Quail who was once held in the hands of a great prophet who was said to be the son of the ultimate being. Many had pursued, persisted and perished in search of that Holy Quail as it was believed to be the Ultimate realised truth. It was also generally accepted that there was many realms and hierarchies to be conquered first, one such realm was the Palace of Dancing Ducks.



This youth called Passhefail, lived in a bush Bark hut some distance away and made regular pilgrimages to the palace of the dexterous ducks, in the hope to drink from the font of the mysterious wisdom that seemed only to emanate from there!

Behind his bark hut was the talking torrent of a living billabong that suspended the slinky streamlining of the platypus, who wore a very plain coat that held together a conglomerate of odd accessories, that resembled an adulterer who had hurriedly dressed in the dark. A duck bill and feet, the tail of a beaver, also laid eggs, swam with its eyes closed and used radar for navigation. ‘What a natural wonder !!’

Also on the pilgrimage path is the animal with the unique name of Echidna, like a hedge hog that lays eggs, like the delicate manipulation of manoeuvring a balloon with a wire brush. ‘What a natural wonder!!’

The elaborate yet simple whistle of the Butcher Bird that sounds like the Siren song, calling toward the treachery hidden in the eucalypt shore; where the petite pied carnivore impales its victim. ‘What a natural wonder!!’

What of the Lyre bird that displays its Lyre harp shaped tail on a self constructed stage. Equally, it could easily be called the Liar bird as it has the unequalled ability to mimic the sound of anything with feathers, paws, legs or mechanics. ‘What a natural wonder!!’

Most prolific of all is the animal whose bipedal mode of travel causes the diaphragm to work like a pump, in the most energy efficient manor for long distance traversing of an island continent. It carries its embryo in a pocket outside of the body and can stop and start its growth in synchronicity according to the abundance of the seasons. ‘What a natural wonder!!’

Having not long returned from a pilgrimage to Quackery Palace, ‘Passhefail’ the youth, received a message from his Eminence the Grand Drake that the great honour of apprentice trainer was to be bestowed upon him.
Without further a due he dropped the reins of the plough horse named Stubborn, who Passhefail had been following in circles with down cast eyes, hoping to turn up something new from the now dirt they were walking on, with the intention of sowing seeds of hope.
On the road to the palace the natural wonder that surrounded him was hijacked by the highwayman called ‘Mind’. Future thinking was now in the saddle and he rode off on the horse called Escape as anxiety and fear set its gait.

How many years will the apprenticeship take; will there be an initiation ceremony; will that involve being fully immersed in water and ‘born again’. Will his forehead be anointed with the special water, using a vertical and a horizontal line; will he be dipped in honey and rolled in duck down; perhaps circumcision with the talon of a deceased Mallard, or even having the foreskin nibbled off by a menacing Muscovy.
Could there just be years of reading tomes and chanting the imperial parchments until word perfect. Passhefail decided to prepare for all of the above combined with a long arduous retreat.

The Grand Drake of the most Auspicious Secret Society of Tap Dancing Ducks met him at the door and immediately led him through the catacombs to the Grand Hall, where the ducks danced upon the biscuit tins. “Your first job before the performance starts”, declared the Grand Drake, lifting the wafer thin lid of the first tin and pointing inside to some blackened wicks; “will be, to light the candles in the tin”

DISILLUSIONMENT; can be a transforming vehicle.



Passhefail rode home on the vehicle pulled by the nags, ‘Guilt & Shame’ being driven by the tailwind called Past; making sure to stop and pick up their droppings and load it into the cart. By the time he reached home, the cart was so full he’d had to move forward and sit on the draw bar between Guilt and Shame. Shame being such a dark heavy horse was very lame, after travelling the bright open rocky path he died of exposure once Passhefail had returned from whence he came. Shame and the fermenting burdensome manure, were both returned to the earth and became new growth. Guilt was released to the wild and was only seen occasionally and fleetingly as he galloped past.

Stubborn, the plough horse gave up ploughing and had his name abbreviated to become ‘Born’ and grazed contentedly on the is-ness of presently available new growth.

With understanding and acceptance Passhefail rested deeply in the heart hammock located within the shell of his bark hut, he poked his finger through the decaying bark wall and was amazed at the impermanence of things. From this place of seeing through the hole, he could see the platypus and was aware of the sound of the butcher bird, the Lyre bird as well as the bipedal mammal, all natural wonders in their supposed separateness. The essence of what joined them all together, could only be evidenced by the indirect path the wattle flower took, as it fell to the ground and the invisibility of that which moved the branch from where it fell.

Under the heart hammock in grace and stillness, the Holy Quail nested in its humble origin eternally available at the source of the seeking journey.
Simplicity becomes complexity when one who aspires greatness, journeys to an illusory mythical idealised arrival lounge only to find he was already there.


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