Friday, 4 November 2011
Where do the ducks go in winter?
At one point Holden Caulfield asks 'Where do the ducks go in the winter?' A prosaic enough question and of intense interest to the ornithologically minded. Conventional interpretations of this passage suggest that it is a metaphor depicting Holden's acute anxiety about what happens to the innocence and sun-kissed world of childhood when adolescence sets it - or something, you can make this bit up yourself. But there is no cricket reference in this passage - so getting your bearings can be a bit tricky. Maybe Caulfield just likes ducks.
Had Salinger been inclined to include cricket in his novel, he may well have asked a more interesting question and one that is of concern to cricketers everywhere. 'Where do the doughty groundsmen go in winter.' A question which puts any concern about ducks into proper perspective. The season is ended, the mowers are cleaned, the top dressing is applied. Where do the doughty groundsmen go?