Friday, September 21, 2007

"Not I," said the Duck.

I sometimes respond to particular questions with a very odd response of, "Not I, said the Duck." This has been pretty automatic and I've never remembered where I picked it up.

Until today. Someone (understandably) asked what that meant, so I Googled it. After I clicked the first result, I instantly remembered that my great grandmother read this fairy tale to me as a kid. She only recently passed away, and I got to thinking how lucky I was to experience all but two great-grandparents for a good portion of my life. Almost all of my "Greatest Hits" childhood memories involve them.

This makes me think of myself as a robot kit--starting as a simple flesh frame and, with proper sun exposure and fuel, grown into what I am today...complete with all sorts of idiosyncrasies and manners contributed by different family and friends. For me, great- and regular grandparents are the sensory trigger-installers. For example, the smell of peaches remind me of weekends I spent with great grandma and grandpa where I woke up late to orchard-fresh sliced peaches doused in creme with coffee (I was eight! They were crazy!). A cozy blanket and book nowadays leads me to start thinking about when my frame was small enough to fit atop theirs while the grandmas read me to sleep with Mr Men and Little Miss or Little Golden books. As for the grandpas...how much cooler could they get? Infinite knowledge like how to hitch a trailer, drive a boat, tend to animals, eat, fish, walk beans, thump a melon, reining a horse to a real sled like Santa's, and cut wood. They were also daredevils building me birdhouses that captured the bird, welding together nails to make ninja stars, and taking me sledding on hills with 45-degree inclines.

How this passed-on knowledge helps with my fundraising career, I can't be sure. BUT I hope my grandkids are telling other people how cool I was after I'm gone.

11 comments:

Shar said...

I say this quite often to, usually to proclaim my innocence or to make sure people know I'm not about to do something I have to intention of doing. I read the Little Red Hen, back in first grade, and I've been using this expression ever since.

Andy said...

I always go straight for the Duck as well. I wonder if anybody goes for the Goose or any of the other animals.

briancobabe@gmail.com said...

heres something random for you, since i've no clue who you are. my wife was falling asleep tonight and asked me a question, to which my response was 'not i, said the duck.'

it's a book i remember from elementary school, kindergarten or first grade perhaps.

no clue why i'mfilling you in on this, but there you have it.

rmoore said...

this must be some kind of phenomenon.. because i do the same thing! i just started doing it recently, and i don't know why i remember this particularly, after so many years. maybe it's some kind of brainwashing experiment implemented by the cia back in the late 80's/early 90's.

Anonymous said...

I do it too, and like you, didn't realize where it came from until I googled it.

Odd how things like that pop up.

Anonymous said...

Your response was much better than mine. For years I would automatically answer "Not I" said the Pig. Imagine how embarrassing it was as people slowly turned to look at me with eyebrows furrowed. I was 42 before I remembered the Little Red Hen book. LOL Lots of great memories for a slightly eccentric person. ...Oink, oink ;-D

Anonymous said...

I do this, too! And I agree with Andy; why do we all go straight for the duck? (well, except the one commenter who grew up saying "Not I, said the pig:)

ron said...

I have been doing the same thing for years and also go straight for the duck. I always knew where it came from though. I think the reason we go for the duck is because he was always the first one to respond.

Anonymous said...

"Not I", said the duck,
I wouldn't have the pluck!"

Anonymous said...

THIS IS PRETTY FUNNY I SAY NOT I SAID THE DUCK TOO FIGURED I'D GOOGLE IT TO SEE WHAT STORY IT CAME FROM

kikaymommyger said...

I say this too! I googled "not I said the duck" today to revisit the entire poem and came across your entry. Glad to know I'm not the only duck!