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Dora pulled the sweater closer around her, as she walked slowly around pond. She watched the ducks and geese as they swam after the pieces of bread that were thrown to them by an elderly woman.  But her mind wasn’t really on them or the beauty the setting sun gave to the sky, turning the clouds to brilliant pinks and oranges. It was the letter she had received from her Great-aunt Sophia inviting her to come and live with her that occupied her thoughts. Dora slid her hand it to her pocket, her hand closed around the envelope, what was she to do? Her aunt had written to offer the money for college, if she would come to live in the city with her. “I’m getting old and need a little help now and then.” Aunt Sophia had written. But there was Hans who had asked to marry him. He didn’t seem to understand her desire to farther her education or her wanting to help her elderly relative.

She dropped on to a nearby bench, “I wish I had a fairy godmother who would tell me what to do.” she sighed deeply.

“I ain’t what you wished for but you can help me feed the ducks.” said a soft voice.   

“What?”  Dora asked, startled out of her deep thoughts.

“Here, Honey, helps me feed the ducks.”  The gray-haired slightly bent woman, invited again. Her wrinkled face lit up with a bright toothy smile.  Her trembling hand offered Dora a crumbled paper bag that held pieces of old bread.

Dora shook her head, “Thanks, but duck feeding isn’t really my thing.”  She said.

“Feeding the ducks has a way of lifting your troubles.” the old woman said softly as she watched the hungry ducks scrambling for the bread.

 “What makes you think I have any?”  Dora asked, puzzled as how the old woman seemed to know of her dilemma.

“Get a good handful of bread and throw it out to the ducks.” the old woman instructed as she threw some bread to the waiting ducks. Reluctantly, Dora put her hand the bag and took a handful of bread. For a few moments there was silence as they fed the feathered creatures.

“I can see it in your eyes, you have no real smile. A beautiful young woman like you shouldn’t look so burden.”  The old woman said suddenly.

“It shows, huh? I do just not sure know what to do. My head tells me to do one thing, my heart another”

“Perhaps that’s the really problem then.”

“What do you mean?”

“Most people pay attention too much to what is going on inside their head or what their hearts are feeling.  They don’t stop and listen.”

“Listen to what?“

“To whom...His voice.” Se was corrected gently.

“Whose voice? What are you talking about?”

“God’s". That is why I like to feed the ducks, it helps clear everything away, and then I can hear his voice directing me in the way I should go.”  The duck lady explained, with a gentle smile.

“You really want me to believe that God and ducks will help me make a decision?” Dora asked a sarcastic laugh.

“Yes”  the old lady said seriously as she got up off the bench and gave Dora her last bag of bread “ Just feed the ducks and listen. “  She counseled as she slow walked away into the darkness. Dora smiled as she watched her walk away. The old woman reminder her of her grandmother, she would of said something like that.  Dora gave the last of the bread to the ducks. Then sat watching them on the pond in the dim light of the street lamp, remembering things her grandmother had taught her of God.

It came suddenly, unexpectedly her answer.  It was more of a warm glow instead of words that filled her whole being. She felt happier that she had in a long time; He really had given her answer. At last she knew what it was that she should do. Dora felt herself smiling again as her burden lifted from her.

When she got back to her apartment she could hear voices coming from within as she inserted the key and turned it in the lock. Slowly she walked into the room. Hans and her roommate, Kate sat talking on the sofa.  Kate jumped up when she saw Dora, “Where have you been? We have been worried sick about you.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean be so late, I went to the park to think.”

“Oh” her roommate said casting a meaningful look at the young man on the sofa as she walked into the kitchen

“You are going to go and live with your Aunt Sophia.”  Hans said as she sat down beside him. It was more of a statement then a question.

“Yes.  How did you know?”

“Just a feeling I’ve had.”

“We can still get married.... someday” she said, hopefully.

“Don’t ask me to wait, Dorry. I can’t promise you that.”

“Then let’s not wait...come with me.” she invited, even though she knew what his answer would be.

“It wouldn’t work, we don’t want the same things, Dorry” he said unexpectedly with reluctance, using his pet name for her as he stood.  With an aching heart she watched him put on his coat and leave the apartment.  She knew that he was right, but how she wished things could be different.

Slowly, she got up from the couch and went into the kitchen. Kate looked up at her as she dunked her cookie into the glass of milk.

“Hans has left.”

“Guess you know...”

“That you are not going to marry Hans.”

“Yah. It’s strange I thought I would be heartbroken, but I am not. Actually I feel relieved.”

“Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.”

“Kate, do you believe that God answers prayers” Dora asked her friend, suddenly wanting to tell someone about the old woman she had met in the park.

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