Booble-A-Binga and Beeble-A-Binga

A Story of Two Ducks
by Helen Graebner

  Funny, squeaky noises came from the box sitting in the middle of the living room floor. It was a large white box, with many little holes punched in its cover.

  "What's in it, Grandpa?" Bruce asked his Grandfather, who had just brought the box.

  "Open it and see," Grandfather said.

  Very carefully Bruce lifted the lid and looked in. Looking back at him from inside the box were two funny, fuzzy little ducklings. Whey had black, beady eyes, and queer webbed feet.

  Bruce said, "Oh-h-h-h, ducks!"

  The ducklings opened their flat yellow bills and flapped their tiny yellow wings and said "Peep, peep."

  "You will have to find some way to keep them warm during the night," Grandfather warned. "You see, on the farm the mother duck keeps them warm with her feathers; but you will have to find some other way of warming these two."

  "Couldn't I take them to bed with me?" Bruce asked.

  Mother did not think that was a very good idea. Daddy said Mother should find some soft rages and he would find a box. He came back from the basement with a box in which he had placed a small light bulb.

  Mother put some soft cloths in the box. Very carefully Bruce lifted in the two little ducks. Then Daddy plugged in the light bulb and turned it on.

  "But won't it get too hot for them?" asked Mother.

  "I don't think so," Daddy answered. "It's a small bulb."

  Mother was still worried that the ducklings might get burned, but everyone went to bed.

  Early the next morning Bruce looked at his ducks. Where do you suppose they were? They were both sitting right on top of the lighted bulb keeping their toes nice and warm!

  "The ducks should have a name," Bruce said, while the family were eating breakfast.

  "They look so much alike, suppose you name them Tit and Tat," suggested Mother.

  "Or Dot and Dash," said Daddy.

  Bruce wrinkled up his forehead and puckered up his mouth and thought very, very hard.

  "I know. We'll name them Booble-a-binga and Beeble-a-binga!"

  And so the ducks were named.

  But which duck was Booble-a-binga and which one was Beeble-a-binga, no one ever knew. You see, they looked exactly alike, and wherever Booble-a-binga went, Beeble-a-binga went too. So whenever you called the ducks you had to say, "Here, Booble-a-binga and Beeble-a-binga, come here!"

  But all the ducks ever said was "Peep, peep." or perhaps "Peep, peep, peep!" if they were very hungry, and their breakfast was late.

  For their breakfast Mother mixed some grain with some water, and put it in a saucer on a newspaper on the floor. Beside it she placed another small dish full of water. Bruce picked up Booble-a-binga and Beeble-a-binga very carefully and set them by the dish of food.

  You never saw such bad manners in your life! First they scooped up big beakfuls of grain, then they walked right through the dish of food. They tried to go swimming in their drinking water. And when Booble-a-binga -- or perhaps it was Beeble-a-binga -- stepped on the edge of the dish of water and spilled it, they both stood there and said "Peep, peep, PEEP!" until the dish was refilled. Then Beeble-a-binga -- or perhaps it was Booble-a-binga -- spilled it all over again!

  Bruce said, "If you want to go swimming, I'll give you some more water to swim in." He filled the dishpan with water, set it on the floor and lifted in the ducks!

  Such peeping and splashing you never heard! Around and 'round the pan they swam until Mother said they made her dizzy.

  One day Mother was in the basement washing clothes. Bruce was sitting on the floor watching his ducks. Suddenly he had an idea.

  He hurried up the stairs and ran some water into the bath tub. He was careful to make it just a little bit warm. Then he carried Booble-a-binga and Beeble-a-binga up the stairs and put them into the tub.

  That was where Mother found them, splashing and swimming, when she came upstairs a little later. They looked so funny and little in the big tub that Mother laughed. She laughed so hard she couldn't scold Bruce, as she should have done. For after all, bath tubs were not made for ducks to go swimming in, where they?

  Booble-a-binga and Beeble-a-binga ate so much food and drank so much water that they grew very fast. Their yellow fuzz changed to smooth white feathers. By the middle of the summer they were much too big to keep in the city any longer.

  "But they still say 'Peep, peep' instead of 'Quack, quack', so they must still be baby ducks," Bruce said.

  "They are so big they need more room than we can give them," Mother told him.

  "Suppose we take them back to Grandfather's farm. We can go out to see them often," Father said.

  Booble-a-binga and Beeble-a-binga were put in their box and placed in the back of the car. They did not seem to like riding in the car very well, though, for all the way out they cried "Peep, peep, PEEP!" quite unhappily.

  "It's too bad they can't swim all the way to the farm," Bruce said. "Never mind, Booble-a-binga and Beeble-a-binga, Grandfather has a big duck pond, and when we get to the farm you may swim as much as you want to."

  When they reached the farm, Bruce carried the box down to the edge of the pond and set it on the ground.

  Out hopped the ducks. "Peep" said Booble-a binga or Beeble-a-binga. "Peep, peep," said Beeble-a-binga or Booble-a-binga.

  Then they waddled as fast as they could on their webbed feet to the edge of the pond and plunged in.

  All the other ducks swam around them saying "Quack, quack, quack."

  Booble-a-binga and Beeble-a-binga made straight for the center of the pond and swam around in a circle once. Then they looked at Bruce and said "Quack, quack."

  Bruce called them and called them and threw pieces of bread on the water for them. But there they stayed in the center of the pond the rest of the day, swimming around in circles and saying "Quack, quack, quack!"

Feeding the ducks
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