As the convenience stores nearby keep going out of business one by one, I now have to spend fifteen minutes just to walk to the nearest one. Along the way, there lies a large pond which would be gathered with migratory birds during winter.
It's already summer, but for some reason, there was one male wild duck swimming idly on the surface of the pond.
I thought to myself, why would this wild duck shun his mates and choose to be alone? I imagined him waking up one spring morning looking stunned to find that he's all alone, being left behind just like that. I felt a sense of pity for him. But a few days ago when I went out to buy some stuff, I found this wild duck walking relaxingly near the center of the pond quacking away. I breathed a sigh of relief for no reason. Turns out this duck was just an eccentric duck!
Just like there are eccentric humans who would shun society for no reason, this duck was the same among his kind. Perhaps he had turned down his mates' offer to fly north with them, insisting, "No thanks, I want to stay here. No particular reason, really." And chose to stray away from his niche. As he was a strange duck that liked to loiter around at night, I instinctively concluded that this was a duck that doesn't mind living alone in a wide pond, a duck that loved solitude.
I thought and agreed with my own deduction, but later some research have discovered that recently there were more and more migratory birds that remained here instead of flying north once spring has arrived. In other words, as there are often people feeding them by the pond, they didn't have to worry about starving, and would start to feel comfortable staying here. This means this isn't some eccentric duck, but a simple-minded duck that doesn't like to go through so much trouble. I felt dejected by this fact, it's as though my dreams have been shattered, and so I have written this, but I guess that duck wouldn't give a damn about it.
-- Tanigawa Nagaru, from the Author's Notes to "The Sighs of Suzumiya Haruhi" (sequel to "The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi")