Woman's Business

The ducks sat around the table eating and talking. It had been Grin's turn to cook, and he always made something nice, being the only one who could actually cook decently. He was often persuaded to take Nosedive's turn, as Tanya and Duke maintained that pizza was not a square meal, no matter how many toppings you put on it. Wildwing agreed, they had to keep healthy to play hockey and fight. Nosedive claimed that they worked all the fat off anyway, and Mallory was fond of pizza, so they got take out when ever they could.

Grin had made fried rice with Mongolian lamb, which was one of Jadestar's favorites. Normally she hoed into her food, but tonight she just picked at it. Her brothers were laughing about a fall Wildwing had taken on the ice, and didn't notice. The others were laughing away, and were at the other end of the table. Grin had noticed, but had decided to keep quiet if she didn't want it made known.

Jadestar's stomach ached considerably, and she felt like doubling over. She glanced around, and poked it carefully. It didn't hurt any more if she did that, but it didn't help.

She suddenly felt like throwing up, and she pushed her chair back quickly.

"Excuse me." she gasped, surprised at the pain. She walked as fast as she could out the door, and down to her bedroom.

Nosedive was surprised, but shrugged and took a huge spoonful of rice. "This is eally goo." he told Grin, speaking through the food.


Jadestar collapsed onto her bed, lying on her stomach. The pain went, and she sighed with relief. She stood up again, to go back to dinner, but the ache returned, and she sat down with a thump. She lay with her beak buried in her pillow for about 10 minutes, when she was suddenly aware of a strange lump in her pants. She pulled it out and brought it up to her face to take a look. She gasped when she realized what it was.


Tanya jumped as her com beeped. She flipped it open, and was surprised to see Jadestar, looking rather shaken, peeping out.

"Tanya? I need your help." she said plaintively.

Tanya glanced around, aware of the curious gazes. "What's the matter? Where are you? Are you OK?"

"I'll tell you when you get here, bedroom, fine."

"Is it OK if Nosedive and Wildwing come?" Tanya asked, seeing the brothers start to get up.

"No! No. Just you, and Mal if she wants." Jadestar replied quickly.

Mallory stood up, and Tanya followed. "We'll be right there." She closed her com.

Nosedive raised an eyebrow. "Uh, is this secret girly business or somethin'?"

Mallory frowned at him. "How would we know? Keep eating." She and Tanya left the room.


Tanya knocked at the door to Nosedive's and Jadestar's room. "Can we, like, come in?" she asked.


They went in and found the girl sitting on her bed holding something small in her hands. She held it out to them. "I laid an egg!" she said, upset.

The two older females crossed the room and sat on either side of the teen. "First time, huh?" Mallory smiled.

"This happens often?" Jadestar sounded indignant.

Tanya and Mallory exchanged looks. "No one ever told you how ducklings are made?"

"Yeah! Wildwing told me once. But I didn't do that, I promise! What does that have to do with this anyway?"

"Take it away, Tanya." Mallory said, imitating a game show host.

"Uh, yeah. Anyway, once a month, you lay an egg like that. See how it's really white?" Tanya patted the small oval in Jadestar's hands. "That means there's no duckling inside. If you, well, do it, you skip a month, and when you do lay your egg, it's bigger and it's a sort of creamy peachy brown. Then you have to look after the egg and keep it warm until it hatches."

"Whatever. But I gotta do this once a month? This bites!"

"We know. But it gets easier, and you can plan when it comes." Mallory patted her back.

"No fair. Nosedive doesn't have to do it!" Jadestar complained, bringing the egg up to her face for a closer look. "What do I do with it?"

Mallory shrugged. "Well, if you try and keep them all, it might get kinda crowded in here, and I'm not sure Nosedive would be thrilled. I guess you should just throw it away. That's what I do."

Jadestar turned the egg over and over. "It is sort of pretty, you know." she said, stroking it.

Tanya laughed. "That's what I said my first time! But I threw it out. Besides, we really aren't in the best place to get maternal."

The smallest duck sighed. "I guess. All girls get this?"

"Uh huh." Mallory confirmed. "Usually when they're about 15, but I guess yours are a little late cause of all the stress lately."

Jadestar stood up. "I think I'll just flush it down the toilet." She did so, and came back. "I'm hungry. Let's go eat!"

They walked down the hall, Mallory ahead a little.

"You OK?" Tanya whispered.

"Yeah. Just got a bit of a shock, that's all."

"Good. Be warned, Nosedive's gonna give you the third degree, and Wildwing'll probably join in. It's not usually talked about, it's considered not lady like, but I guess if you tell them later..."

Jadestar grinned as she entered the kitchen. "They can just sweat it. Thanks Tanya."

"Anytime. We girls gotta stick together."

Story Copyright Rachel Baker '98. Jadestar also Copyright Rachel Baker '98. All other characters Copyright Disney, and used without permission.