A MOST EXCEPTIONAL DUCK

 

OFFBEAT AND UNUSUAL, SUCH FRIENDS I'VE HAD MANY,

    A LOT OF ODD BIRDS TO BE SURE.

PERHAPS THE MOST ODD AND OFFBEAT OF ALL,

    AN ABANDONED YOUNG DUCK, BRAND NEW TO THE WORLD.

 

HEATHER AND I TOOK HIM INTO OUR HOME,

    HIS NAMESAKE A HOBBIT NAMED "BILBO,"

A NAME TO SAY SLOWLY WHEN INTRODUCING A DUCK

    LEST THE LISTENER THINK THEY'VE JUST MET A "DILDO."

 

WELL-MANNERED WHEN YOUNG, HE'D HOLD IN HIS POOP

    WHILE INDOORS OR RIDING IN POCKETS.

FIRST WITH PEEPS, THEN WITH QUACKS, HE'D YELL TO GO OUT -

    A HABIT I MISSED WHEN HE LOST IT.

 

AN INDUSTRIOUS DUCK, HEATHER GOT HIM A JOB,

    SELLING DUCK STUFF TO TOURISTS WHO MET HIM.

RODE TO WORK IN A BOX ON THE BACK OF HER SCOOTER -

    IT'S NOT LIKE A HELMET WOULD FIT HIM!

 

BRAVE AS A LION AND FAST AS A CHEETAH,

    TACKLING BUGS HALF HIS SIZE WITHOUT FEAR.

A WELL-TRAVELLED DUCK, THOUGH NOT LOVED AT HOTELS

    WHERE MOST SAID "GET THE DUCK OUTTA HERE!"

 

WHEN KITTENS SHOWED UP IN HIS YARD WITH NO MOMMA,

    HE TOOK OVER AND WAS THEIR DUCK DAD.

THEY FOUND COMFORT IN CUDDLING TO HIS CONFIDENT QUACK,

    THOUGH THE PECKING AND GROOMING DROVE 'EM MAD.

 

A LAND-LOVING DUCK, HE NEVER DID FLY,

    SAVE FOR THREE OR FOUR SECONDS OF LIFT.

A GARDENER DUCK, HE ATE ALL THE RIGHT BUGS,

    POOPING PERFECT MANURE HE'D PRESENT LIKE A GIFT.

 

FEW LIVES INTERSECT, NOT IN MEANINGFUL WAYS,

    BUT GOD BLESSED ME WITH FORTUNE AND LUCK

TO HAVE SHARED IN THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL LIFE

    OF A MOST EXCEPTIONAL DUCK.

 JAS

Comments

Jay Allen Sanford April 25, 2010 @ 11:05 a.m.

All true! The duck was newly born, but grownup ducks in the pond were killing all the babies - some kind of overpopulation frenzy, but this one baby duck escaped, ran up the bank, hopped onto Heather's shoe, and yelled up at her "PEEP!"

She happened to work at a tourist shop called Waddles, selling duck stuff - so she brought the duck to work with her. In a basket, on the back of our scooter. Tourists would buy cracked corn to feed the "shop duck" ----

BTW, one of my missions in life is to inform people to please NOT feed bread to ducks!! It's very bad for them - the bread swells up in their belly and they can't eat anything else for awhile, but bread has zero nutrition that ducks can process, so they can actually die of malnourishment and/or starvation from eating too much bread!

Instead, feed ducks chicken scratch, or cracked corn, long grain rice (not white), or softened beans (Bilbo grew up on cooked lentils, and he grew to be HUGE).

We used to go to Chinese restaurants and ask "Do you serve duck?" If they said yes, we'd bring the duck in from the car and order a plate of broccoli for him. This was funny the first few times, until we grew unnerved by the way the restaurant owners would stare at him with hungry expressions, saying "My, he's a FAT one, isn't he?"

We used to travel cross country with the duck in a cat carrier - he even saw a Vegas show with us! Funny when people looked in the container, expecting a cat, only to get quacked at. BTW, it's really hard to sneak a duck into hotel rooms. As soon as we'd put the water in the tub and put him in there, he'd start quacking and stomping around and having so much fun that everyone in the vicinity knew he was there....we may have been responsible for the first-ever institution of the Days Inn "Duck Deposit" fee....

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nan shartel April 25, 2010 @ 11:49 a.m.

OMG i love this!!!

thx so much for penning it Jas

hey the Peabody Hotel in Memphis Tennessee has a "love the ducks policy and is a huge tourist attraction too

their ducks swim in the lobby fountain and march back and forth to it twice a day

what a great Duckmaster Heather was..ducks fix on they first thing the see and will follow them around forever..mom duck or mom Heather

u 2 were such pranksters...my kind of people...YIPPEE!!!!

i love how ur mind turns!!

and the fawn!!!

the FYI on what to feed ducks...very cool...

hey go read Cuddles new blog on "simple food"...u'll love it...it's cooking with a heart

and handsome...ya just gotta do this way more often...write like this i mean...cause u be a poet 2

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Jay Allen Sanford April 26, 2010 @ 9:46 a.m.

Thanks! I've heard of hotels and resorts who employ ducks and geese. I have a friend who swears her goose is the best watchdog she's ever had, but that it's very gentle with her and family members - no harm, go fowl!

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CuddleFish April 26, 2010 @ 10:37 a.m.

We had ducks when I was a kid, they were okay as pets, but the messes they made were pretty disgusting, their water was disgusting, the whole backyard smelled like duck. It didn't really matter in that neighborhood, so many people kept farm animals in their yards, hen coops, rabbits, pigeons, the poop was used for manure. The neighbors next door, an elderly black couple originally from the South, would ask us for the eggs, and we would get back cakes made with the eggs, really delicious.

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Jay Allen Sanford April 27, 2010 @ 8:29 p.m.

Our duck friends CAN be stinky, but you can reduce their, um, emissions - feeding them lots of legumes and beans, to help solidify their waste. Rock hard food like bird seed requires much more stomach enzymes and digestive breakdown, hence more stinkyness.

Also, keeping their "pond" mobile and easy to drain can make all the difference. Note Bilbo's wading pool (with his rubber girlfriend floating nearby) and metal bucket-bath - dump 'n' refill every day.

(NEVER bathe with a duck, tho - they tend to poop as soon as they hit the water!)

Bilbo really did raise several abandoned kittens - he taught them to eat like him, so it was funny as hell to see cats pecking their food! Not to mention the wacky sight of kittens following the duck around the yard in a straight line, just like ducklings...I still know two of those cats, now full grown, and they still peck their food -----

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Jay Allen Sanford April 28, 2010 @ 9:47 a.m.

BTW, duck emissions make for amazing fertilizer! We transformed a desert back yard into a tropical jungle within just a few months, by giving Bilbo free rein on the range. He even learned to eat only the harmful bugs we pointed out to him, so we had a totally rockin' garden, just a block from 70th and El Cajon Boulevard -

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Joe Poutous April 28, 2010 @ 10:37 a.m.

There is a little girl at my son's school that is dying to have a chicken as a pet.

Once I asked her how her day was going and she screwed up her face and said "Not very well, I really want a chick"..

Later I asked her mom about it... I guess she had been pining for a chicken for months.

  • Joe
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nan shartel April 28, 2010 @ 11:02 a.m.

smart green recycling Jas...i had no idea ducks whoop was so good as a fertilizer

and the kittens...the pecking order was complete...lord love a duck!!!

Joe i have to fight the urge every year along Easter time not to get a chick or two

when i lived in Lakeside years an years ago we had visiting chickens in our yard everyday....the kids love to go out and feed them

but they never reciprocated with any eggs ...dang them!!

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Jay Allen Sanford April 29, 2010 @ 5:26 p.m.

I've heard how rich duck eggs are, but I haven't been able to bring myself to eating any duck-ish food since making friends with so many ducks (and I have many - I carry scratch feed in my car, cuz you never know when you're gonna meet a duck....).

I don't even eat at restaurants that serve duck any more - just my way of showing a little duckin' solidarity.

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MsGrant April 29, 2010 @ 5:43 p.m.

Awww, this is awesome. My mom lives in a 55+ community that has a lot of water, and a lot of ducks. There is a white duck that they named "Snowflake". Have you ever heard of a white duck?

Chickens are good pets, too. They have interesting habits. Most municipalities won't allow you to keep chickens as pets, but people are working hard to change this. Eggs are an cool by-product of chickens. If everyone raised their food this way, I would go back to eating eggs, but I can't stomach commercial egg factories and the so-called free-range ones supposedly aren't much better.

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Jay Allen Sanford April 30, 2010 @ 5:12 p.m.

Cool! White ducks are usually domestic fowl who've been released (or escaped) into the wild - it's interesting to watch the coloring of subsequent generations as they mate with more colorful "wild" ducks, with markings from speckled spots to off-white splotches to half-n-half ducks that end up looking like their forefathers (forefeathers?) mated with zebras or something!

Muscovy ducks - which some people think are weird turkey-looking critters - are getting common around La Mesa, and they make good pond pets. They can be a bit aggressive while feeding, but they're smart and will behave, as long as you don't play favorites with one of 'em!

The El Cajon courthouse has some VERY tame ducks that will walk right up to people and hang out, even if you're not feeding them. There's a handsome part-mallard there named Frank - you'll know him when you meet him. He yells his name all the time, and it sounds for all the world like someone yelling "Fraaaaaaaaannnnk!"

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Jay Allen Sanford May 2, 2010 @ 2:01 p.m.

Duck 1 = Muscovey duck showing off at Lake Hodges: http://inlinethumb47.webshots.com/47662/2025068980103947755S425x425Q85.jpg

Duck 2 = What Bill Shatner REALLY saw on the wing of that airplane in Twilight Zone... http://inlinethumb10.webshots.com/43337/2962283790103947755S425x425Q85.jpg

Duck 3 = Frank the Duck, guarding the El Cajon courthouse from breadslingers! http://inlinethumb26.webshots.com/4441/2555272190103947755S425x425Q85.jpg

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nan shartel May 2, 2010 @ 2:19 p.m.

this is a cruel thing to say..but i love Peking Duck...but not if it's any duck i know

i loved the duck Shatner saw...and i love Worth's 1000 in general...some mighty crazy pics there

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nan shartel May 3, 2010 @ 10:15 a.m.

oh what a lovely peeking duck u have funnyman...hahahahahahahaha

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Jay Allen Sanford May 4, 2010 @ 6:01 p.m.

Then you'll LOVE Bill Shatner VS Giant Duckie... http://i32.tinypic.com/wasl7r.jpg

At least I didn't give in to the temptation to draw a Duckbill Shatner....

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nan shartel May 4, 2010 @ 6:13 p.m.

cripes dats an UGLY spaceduck JAS

Duckbilled Shatner...i'll play!!!

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