My father is on a knee beside me. The man's breath smells like coffee and a little of last night's whisky. I am paying close attention to him, waiting for more wise words, trying to guess when he will deem it light enough to shoot, wondering how he fends off the morning cold. He holds his shotgun upright, like a scepter, and wears a regal camouflage crown, earflaps down. To me, he rules the pond. Leaning my way, he whispers, "Those damn ducks like to sneak up behind you. You should always be checking your back."