(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anecdotes (Duck Edition)

So, we're going to skip over my unpleasant weekend to talk about the thing that happened just before it all descended into pain and fury. It was a bright and pretty Saturday morning, although quite gusty. I had a big bag of homemade bread that for miscellaneous reasons nobody was going to eat. I thought I'd go feed the ducks.

There's a duck pond nearby, a big cement thing behind an apartment complex. The walk is nice exercise if I go the long way, and I can bring my iSpud and pump myself full of music to inspire me for a day of writing. When I got there I couldn't see any ducks, only the two huge swans who swam right up to the edge of the pond and glared at me because I held food, might hold food, or might be made into food if I didn't pony up some bread. I tossed them a couple of crusts, and while they were busy I found that the duck flock was hidden around the corner of the building. They don't like getting near the swans, but the swans had food and would stay out of the way for awhile. The ducks saw a sucker and beelined for me. It looked like a great day of duck feeding.

Then duck nature took over. Ducks are, basically, feathered bags of spite. I threw out the first piece of bread, and every duck in the pond turned and attacked its neighbor. One single hen or duckess or whatever you call it had her eye on the prize, but in doing so she earned the ire of two mallards, who chased her relentlessly around the pond until I left. It might have been a mating thing, because 'consent' is a concept mallards leave to lesser avians, but none of the other mallards cared. These two just had an obsession. She'd fly to the other side of the pond, and they'd swim right through the flock, setting off more fights among anyone who'd settled down to feed, to attack her again.

Then the wind picked up, and thrashing waves - in a duck pond - swept the entire flock to the far side of the pond. The waves tipped the swans far enough over for me to learn that swans have huge, hideously mottled legs. I decided to go home, my faith in Nature restored.


  1. From May 2006: “Mallards Are A-holes”

    On my three daily breaks a day at my min-numbing job, I often spend time observing the ducks and geese that live and the large canal next to the property. A picnic table was se up years before, but is to riddled with duck poop to use. I stand and watch the green headed mallards and the brown duck…duck…duck ladies. (I’m no scientist.) Ducklings scurry about and two huge geese hang around from time to time, waiting for those employees who bring extra bread from home to throw to the hungry gaggle. It is against policy, and ducks to get run over from to time. Instinctually, I guess we want to feed cute animals. Maybe that’s to fatten them up and eat them ourselves, but that is a vegetarian argument, and a tangent, and I don’t give a shit.
    I watch, what I presume are the male mallards. They do most of the quacking, and it was on day 3 or 4 it dawned on me.
    These ducks are the white T-shirted, Jerry Springer wife beaters of nature.
    They swim together, the males in small packs of 4 or 5 in the canal, and if one female tries to come and swim along, to presumably get some attention at her new haircut or how the roast beef tasted last night, the Green-headed prick squawks at her, and sometimes chases her ass out of the water and a chase ensues in flight! No matter if the babies are trailing behind her or not in the water, if they try to mess with the male if he’s hanging with his homies, she gets nature’s backhand across the bill.
    Also, when the Wonder Bread hits the ground, the male tries to get the stuff first, before the kids! Only then will the mother step in and let the duckling eat waded up bread heels. But, she still has to take shit from the old man, quacking in her ear.
    In conclusion, I don’t know much about nature and I try to anthropomorphize, which really isn’t a word. But, if you go out and try the masterpiece of cuisine known as the duck

  2. duck l’orange, don’t feel bad. He had it coming.”

  3. Yes, ducks are distasteful (but tasty) little buggers. I highly recommend duck in any form, but pan seared with cranberry chutney would be my preferred preparation.