Duck 23

Ducks seem to have a lock on a lot of things in the human world. There’s the old saying, “Be calm on the surface and paddling like the dickens underneath,” duck analogy. Then there’s the, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…,” analogy which is used to help further racial profiling and expansion of the Patriot Act. Someone who’s soon to be dead is a “dead duck”. There’s the popular schoolyard game, “Duck, Duck, Goose.” If something’s going to smack into your head, people scream, “Duck!” to warn you. By the way, I tried to explain this to my 3-year-old niece and she confusedly responded, “What?” The 50’s Greasers sported duck tail haircuts. A lame duck president tries to keep all of his ducks in a row while ducking reporters, their questions rolling harmlessly as water off a ducks back, making him as happy as a duck in water.


Perhaps there’s something we can learn from the duck; so diverse in coloring, so gentle in the air, on water and land; seemingly impervious to discomfort from scorching heat or ice-cold. I remember learning about “cross-current blood flow” in college which is how ducks’ feet don’t freeze when walking on ice. Didn’t seem like it should work. But like all things ducky, it’s what you DON’T see that’s the trick. A special coating on their feathers is nearly waterproof. The frantic movement of webbed feet under water allows them to smoothly maneuver perfectly away from boats, corralling foundlings close and away from harm.

I think Daffy Duck did more harm to the image of ducks than anything good he might have done for the childhoods of humans. Of course, a Warner Brothers cartoon character of a smooth moving duck doing everything perfectly doesn’t sound that funny. In any event, I’m happy for the duck, glad for the sayings, games and other things. And I kind of feel bad for mostly ignoring ducks throughout the majority of my life. But then, I don’t think they care if I ignore them. In fact, even if they did care, they’d never let on. It’s not their style to complain or raise issue. They would just act all calm and smooth and just glide on by ignoring me as I peer above my camera, the falling sunset silhouetting iridescent green heads, oblivious to my unthreatening distance.

Duck 11

What do you think?