The Trained Duck Store

        Sandy took several paper napkins and her ice cream cone from the counter and went to sit by the window while Michael, Dani, and Simon made their orders. "Hey guys look, someone is moving into the old arcade." Sandy called out.        "Is it another arcade?" Asked Michael. "I hope they have Ridge Racer. When I went to Texas last year they had Ridge Racer in the hotel game room, and it had seats and a steering wheel and petals and everything."         "I don't think its an arcade. The sign in the window says 'Norlen and Associates'."         Dani rolled her eyes as she pointed to the container of mint choclate-chip through the display case to the woman behind the counter. "That's the real-estate agent's name dummy."         Simon and Michael picked up their orders and joined Sandy at the window to take a look. Simon pressed his face against the glass, bending his glasses and squashing his nose into a funny shape. "Nope!" Simon said with authority. "It says Morlen and Associates, and it has something else underneath. 'Trained Ducks for Sale or Rent'."         "Trained Ducks?" Asked Michael. "That doesn't sound like any arcade I've ever heard of. I was really looking forward to a new arcade."         "That doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard of." Said Sandy as she ate her ice cream.         "Let me see." Dani placed her ice cream on the table next to Sandy and walked over to the entrance to the ice cream parlor. She opened the door slightly and slowly leaned her head out, careful to balance against the door handle. She made a show of how far she could lean out the door, and then she read the sign out aloud. It was just as Simon had said. "It's probably just a pet shop or something. They put that stuff on the sign so you'll come in and then they tell you it's just a joke, and try and sell you some old hamster or something."         Sandy became very excited. "Wow, a pet shop! Let's go look at the animals."         Dani protested. "I'm allergic to animals. They make me all itchy."         Michael began to laugh. "That's just because you don't take baths."         "I do to! It's the dandruff."         "I think you mean dander." Corrected Simon. "Animal dander causes allergic reactions."         "Whatever it's called it makes me sneeze whenever I'm around animals." Dani turned up her nose and continued eating her ice cream.         "Do ducks have dandruff? Birds don't have any hair." Said Michael.         "Well I don't care what they are. I'm not going in there. Besides, I have to finish my ice cream."         Simon sat back in his seat and took another bite of his ice cream. "I don't think you need to worry Dani, it doesn't look like it's open yet. It's still dark inside." Simon took several more bites of his cone, and then wrapped the remainder in a napkin and placed it in the nearby trash can.         Sandy also finished her cone and placed it in the trash. Michael had eaten the ice cream from the top of his cone, and then bit off the cone's point, and was now making a slurping sound sucking the melted ice cream from the bottom of the cone. Dani gave Michael a dirty look before taking another dainty bite of her cone, conspicuously dabbing the corners of her mouth with her napkin.         "Well I'm go'nna go have a look." Said Sandy. "You can all sit tight, I'll be right back."         Michael and Simon looked at eachother and then spoke in unison. "Hey, wait for us." Sandy spun out of her feet and bolted through the door. Simon quickly followed, and Michael took several final slurps of his cone before tossing it into the trash and following his two friends.         "Humph!" Snorted Dani.         Sandy ran up to the window of the closed shop and examined the sign as Michael and Simon cupped their hands to the windows to see into the darkened building. The glass door was completely covered by the sing and the two large windows were obscured with thick brown paper, but the smaller window at the end of the building was unobstructed.         "What do you see?" Asked Sandy.         Michael leaned into the window, placing both arm against the glass in an effort to shade his eyes. "I can't see anything, just a bunch of boxes and a lot of dust."         "Look there, in the far corner." Said Simon.         Sandy hurried down the sidewalk towards the two boys. "What is it?" She asked.         "Eggs." Said Simon.         "Where, I don't see them." Said Sandy.         "They're right there." Simon motioned with his finger against the glass. "They're stacked inside that big glass machine in the corner. The blue things."         Michael stepped away from the window and gave Simon a puzzled look. "Eggs are supposed to be white."         "Not all eggs. Robins have blue eggs. And some chickens have brown ones. You can even buy them at the store."         "What about duck eggs?" Asked Sandy.         "I don't know. I guess they're blue."         Michael looked back into the darkened storefront. "Maybe they've been painted, you know, like on easter."         Sandy started to giggle.         "What? I don't hear any better ideas. Maybe it's part of the training process."         As they talked, Dani came out of the ice cream shop. She looked around until she spotted the trio kneeling at the end of the sidewalk peering in the window of the new shop. She called out. "Hey guys, I'm all done. Let's go all ready. Are we going to the movies or not?"         Sandy stepped back from the window and examined the ring of condensation where he nose had been pressed against the glass. "Her highness is calling."         Michael stepped back from the window and snapped to attention. "My leigh! Fear not, the enchanted house of moving pictures awaits." Michael cut the air with an imaginary rapier. "Come comrades, lest you incur the ire of her majesty."         Dani wrinkled her nose and gave Michael a dirty look.         Michael galloped towards Dani and Sandy and Simon soon followed.