I’ve previously discussed the unique ways animals interact with and adapt to their habitats. Perhaps no animal yet rated is more deeply tied with its surroundings than the duck, because the duck made its own. I am speaking, of course, about Duckburg.
More on that later. For now, let’s dive right in, our webbed feet flailing hilariously above the water as we desperately reach our neck into the depths for that falling bread crumb.*
The duck is able to catch that bread crumb. Scrooge McDuck is tremendously wealthy, but evidence suggests that it is not because he is a duck, so that probably doesn’t really count.
Also, swimming. Surprisingly well for a bird. And flight. Exactly as well as one would expect from a bird.
The duck communicates itself quite poorly, mostly saying unhelpful phrases like “Quack quack.” 16th century Irish farmer Cletus MacDonald was so frustrated by this practice (shared or adopted by a number of other animals on the premises) he was driven insane and himself spoke only in vowels. Consequently, the townspeople burned MacDonald as a heretic. This story is the origin of our nursery rhyme “Jack and Jill,” named for the only two villagers willing to attempt to put him out. (This in turn loosely inspired the 2011 Sandler-Pacino romcom of the same name.)
Number of legs
The duck originally hails from Old Duckington in the British Isles, but was cast out one February by an overzealous and high-out-of-his-mind St. Valentine reenactor who believed it to be snakes. The duck spread to the four winds, and there has been a diaspora of duck kind ever since. In the 1940s, however, duck united with duck and founded Duckburg in the state of Calisota (43.5 of 54).
Duckburg was meant to be a utopian society, a refuge for ducks around the world to join in one community. The very different personalities of the residents made communal harmony difficult, however. One may observe similar behavior on a micro-level by tossing a bit of bread into a lake and witnessing how the mallard will peck at the white duck, and the white duck will build a tower to hold all the money it makes exploiting the working class bread-divers.
Tragically, in 1975, ATF agents surrounded Duckburg, claiming local entrepreneur Gyro Gearloose was developing weapons of moderate destruction. Duckburg officials decried the allegation as lies perpetuated by noted criminals the Beagle Boys. After an eleven-day standoff, the resulting raid, and the deployment of Gearloose’s WMoD left Duckburg devastated and barely inhabitable.
And so, the duck continues to roam.
What if it fought a bear?
The bear, in a quick TKO.
Is it noble?
The duck is frequently very interesting and ambitious. On the other hand, how many times can you hear it go on about “quack”?
*If you know what the bread crumb is in this metaphor, please write in because I don’t remember.**
**Don’t actually write in.