The Shaggy Duck Story - Lauren Bell

The Shaggy Duck Story Seeing The World Through Our Unique Lens

Image Credit: Ernst Vikne -

Image Credit: Ernst Vikne - [email protected]

When I lived in an organic farming community, one morning I sat on the porch of the bunkhouse, watching members walk across a grassy area to the dining hall. 

Beside the path, Pete the duck sat and quacked at people as they walked by. 

A professional singer was the first to pass by Pete that morning.
Upon hearing him, she stopped and told him, “How nice of you to sing me a morning song!”

The next woman along the path was rather overweight. When she heard Pete quack in her direction, she scolded him, “You’re always quacking for more food, Pete. It’s time you stuck to your diet!” 

The final person to pass was a very intellectual architect. Hearing Pete’s voice, he retorted, “Questions, Pete—always questions! How about some answers for a change?” 

Hmm . . . Each person saw Pete through the lens of his or her own self-perception. They projected their worldview onto the duck and attributed their beliefs about themselves to him. It was their own selves they were talking to. 

We are all speaking only to our own self.

This beautiful story is truly a classic. It is from Alan Cohen's book A Course In Miracles Made Easy and illustrates how we all view the world through our own lens. And mostly we do this so unconsciously we assume that everyone else sees, hears and interprets the world the same as we do. 

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