There was a time, about seven years ago, when I was a bit out of order. In fact, I was tremendously out of order, made the lovely Mrs Duck cry, and was exiled to the spare bed in the study downstairs, where I was to spend several weeks contemplating my crimes.
Fair enough, really, I was bang to rights, and took my solitary confinement like a man. Also, it meant I could stay on the internet half the night and look at loads and loads of pictures of naked ladies, which was, in retrospect half the reason I'd found myself in the slammer. You would think then, that I was fully deserving of any bad karma that might head my way, and you'd probably be right.
Being the enormous bastard I was at the time, I failed to notice what I was doing to the rest of my family, and my sweet, sweet children did whatever they thought they could do to protect their poor, neglected mother. Spawn of my loins, eh?
My children are angels. But, I discovered, they can be a pair of dreadful, dreadful schemers with nothing but the painful downfall of their terrible Daddy on their mind. And so it proved.
So, come one fateful Saturday morning, I swung myself out of bed, ready to face the day, and lowered my feet onto the cool parquet flooring.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" I said, unaccustomed as I was to extreme agony at that hour of the morning.
I inspected my poor, bleeding feet. Both of them. Where I soon discovered the source of my eye-watering agony. I had been neatly skewered by at least three long, extremely pointy map pins. The kind that we kept on a cork noticeboard in the kitchen. The kind which were now sticking out of my feet.
On closer inspection of my immediate environment, I realized that, perhaps, this might not have been some random accident of chance, where a few carelessly discarded pins had ruined my morning. Not at all. The floor around the bed in my cell / den of vice was littered with map pins, each and every one of them fixed to the floor with a small blob of Blu-Tack.
Despite my agonies, I thought it best not to rock the boat and actually blame anybody. It was, I reasoned, the very least I deserved in the circumstances, and any actual complaining would probably have me sleeping in the shed with the rabbit and several large spiders.
So, my silence bought anonymity for my attackers, who, for seven long years, went unpunished. Until, at last, the truth came out.
As the sun came up on an early morning in the west of Reading, two small, shadowy figures slipped into my room like junior ninjas. Armed only with map pins and Blue-Tack, they went about their silent work, and slipped away, waiting just outside the door to hear the results of their labour.
And it was not long before they were rewarded.
Oh, how they laughed.
Scaryduckling and Scaryduck Junior, who had clearly been brought up reading Sun Tzu's Art of War, crushed their enemy when he least expected, and ran away sniggering like, well, kids.
They were five and four back then. Seven years later, who knows what they are capable of. Fear them.
I love them. Really. I do.