Duck!


A fast trip to the muddy roads of Zuni Pueblo, to admire this year’s babies and exclaim over how big last year’s have grown. There’d been lots of snow; it was so wet, they warned us, that the Navajos were parking on the pavement.

That’s wet.

I learned to say “quack” in Zuni: naknak’ya. The apostrophe is a glottal stop, the tiny pause in Uh-oh! (which in Zuni would be spelled Uh’oh!).

The past tense of naknak’ya is naknak’yakkya. The happy clamor of ducks on a pond: Zuni nails it.

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2 thoughts on “Duck!”

  1. Fun post! I’m always amazed how other cultures/languages describe things so much better than English. I’ve been tickled and floored by this in Navajo over the years…

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