Out in the Garden

Paycheck and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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First published in Fantasy Fiction Aug 1953

Before Robert Nye’s wife Peggy has even announced her pregnancy, his friend, when he sees Peggy in the garden with her pet duck, is reminded of the story of Zeus who took the form of a swan and gave Leda a child. Later Robert begins to wonder if the father of his son might actually be this pet duck his wife is so fond of, and his suspicions are confirmed when his young son invites him to a meal of spiders and worms.

Cast of characters

  • Robert Nye – suspects his son might not actually be his son
  • Peggy Nye – Robert’s wife
  • Tom Lindquist – Robert’s friend
  • Sir Francis – Peggy’s pet duck and possible lover and deity in disguise 
  • Stephen – Robert’s “son”