I am ice. That is what I am. That is all there is. The thinnest, clearest, most fragile piece of ice on a pond at the start of a winter that will be long, cold and dark. The spring is so very far away.
There are four little ducks walking on that sheet of ice, spreading their weight automatically and instinctively so that the ice can tip a little, dip a little, but always right itself. The ducklings have cold feet, but they are not wet. They are not freezing. They are not drowning.
Throw up a pebble – a pebble is all it will take – and the ice is going to break. Pebbles have to be slid on the surface, gently and with care. Throw one up too high and when it falls, the ice will break, shatter into a billion tear shaped pieces. And the ducklings will tip into the water.
Heft the pebbles carefully, please. Think before you throw. I have to keep the ducklings out of the water.