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O. J. Duck
By: Wayne Brown
Ducks are invading my home…at least that is the way it appears. About three weeks ago, my wife looked out the back window and spotted two ducks floating about in the pool just enjoying their afternoon like they owned the place. It was picture perfect and we snapped one or two. I had seen them there once before back in the winter. I walked out back without noticing them and all of us were immediately startled. The ducks flew away and I was awed at how rapidly they could rise from the water and clear an eight foot fence adjacent to the pool deck. My awe has been replaced by misery.
The male duck or “Mr. Duck” is a green-headed Mallard. He is a duck’s duck with his colors and easily could be a model for a duck decoy company if he had the mind to stand still for a while. He paddles along with his lady friend with every duck feather in his down perfectly in place and with all the pomp and circumstance that sends the message that he owns this little haven of dark water. The female or “Ms. Duck” appears to be a Wood Duck. She is brown-speckled and looks kind of “wash and wear”…you know…the kind of girl who can go to breakfast early with you at the local café…dressed and ready in a heartbeat. I understand that Mallards mate for life thus I would suppose these two are a couple.
When the two ducks are not in the pool, they fly to the ridge line of the house roof and sit looking at the pool. Sometimes they just walk along the ridge lines going back and forth around the angles of the roof. I think there is another message of ownership and comfort being transmitted here as well. I see them up there as I get the Suburban out of the garage in the morning. They pay me no mind as if I represent no harm to them. Apparently they know they are a protected species and flaunt it. It is starting to get to me and I feel it.
Now comes the irritating part. While they are floating around and being “a cute couple” in the pool, they are dropping their little wads of duck crap to the floor of my pool. In cleaning it up, I have discovered that it is staining the plaster. The plaster is relatively new…a $10K job designed to give the pool the look of a secluded swimming hole surrounded by natural stone. Apparently, that look, appeals to wild ducks as well as humans. Cute or not, I cannot let two ducks destroy a $10K remodel of my pool nor can I let them infest my pool plumbing with loads of bacteria. I thought about putting up signs warning, “No Duck crapping in the Pool” but I don’t know duck language and I am pretty sure they cannot read English. I do not see that plan as a solution.
Oh, did I mention that I have a new $14K roof on my house complete with that architectural shingle look. Yep…now that I think about it maybe that has something to do with why the ducks like walking around on the roof. I’ll bet they are crapping up there as well which will probably stain my shingles and before long my home will have that “duck crap” look all for the mere sum of just $24K dollars complete with a loving duck couple to finishing out the effect. As funny as all this sounds…I’m starting to get mad and I don’t care much for ducks anymore!
As I stated, they are protected by federal laws and apparently know it. I can clap my hands and do a certain amount of motivating to get them to leave but I cannot be construed as harassing them or keeping a mother from her eggs or young. Now I have something else to worry about…what if that mama duck has built a nest somewhere in my backyard landscape. If that is the case, she may have established “squatter’s rights” under the duck protection laws of the land and I am up the creek along with my pool and my roof. We humans appear to be screwed by laws that we make ourselves…what gives here? I cannot even let the dogs chase them as that is extreme under the laws of the land. Besides that, the dogs don’t want to chase them…they run into the house every time they see a duck on the pool…wimps!
For the last two days, I have only seen “Ms. Duck” about and swimming alone. Either Mr. Duck has perished in an unfortunate hunting accident or possibly a drowning or he is off on some type of duck business trip…possibly a Mallard Convention down in Florida which the pregnant Ms. Mallard could not attend due to the stresses of long flights on her delicate condition. It also makes me believe that she has a nest somewhere about and she is sticking close to it. I suppose there is the chance that she has been widowed or that Mallard was the wayward son of loose-shoed traveling duck who had hot feet and never stayed in one place for very long. That would make her a single-mom and she would probably qualify for Section 8, Temporary Housing under the Obama Administration. Heck, she might even be entitled to a free cell-phone provided by the government. I wonder if I would receive the rent subsidy as “landlord”.
At any rate, this has got to stop. If any baby ducks are born here, they will imprint on my backyard and return to the pool each year to raise their young. Three ducks become six ducks and six becomes…oh hell, this could get out of hand in less than five years and my home would literally be a duck sanctuary which leads me to wonder if I could set up a “duck-blind” on my pool and offer hunting leases to local sportsman in order to try and recoup some of the damage done to my pool and roof. Of course that would mean handing out a bunch of keys to the backyard gate to strangers who just might pee in my pool when no one is looking. Duck hunters probably drink beer so they probably pee a lot. Of course, if I sold beer on the patio, I could make even more money. This thing has some evidence of circuitous merit simply starting with a couple of ducks.
I have researched things on Google attempting to find a means of sending Mr. and Ms. Duck on down the road to the local lake where the other ducks hang out. Many of the remedies are cumbersome and difficult to carry out. One suggestion was to establish crisscross squares with cat-gut line which the ducks would touch on their descent into the pool and then fly away. I figured that I might get tangled in that or the alternative bird net and drown myself…can’t take that risk…then the ducks own the place for sure. Another suggestion was to heavily load the pool with pool toys. One person tried that and now the ducks are having fun playing with the toys on their visits. The best suggestion was to put a large inflatable Swan into the pool…the swan is a natural enemy of the duck. That one might have merit but if my memory serves me correctly, I think I have seen Swam on the lake where these ducks came from and they all get along. Drat!
Meanwhile, my goal is to clap my hands loudly and run the ducks off each time that I see them while working on a method to get the duck crap stains off my beautiful green stoned plaster. The stain even resists the stiff wire brush. If I do not come up with something soon, I may have to let the stain take over the plaster and settle on a more “copper-colored” look to the surface of the pool. I also plan to conduct a recon of the landscape to look for duck eggs. I sure hope that I don’t find any because I will be faced with potentially breaking federal laws should I conveniently get rid of them and I also just might invite Ms. Duck to lay a few more. Hell, she may have thousands around right now. Those ducks seem to be quite efficient once they set their mind to things.
You know, I could plan a speaking engagement in Chicago and just before I depart, I could ask my landscaper to eat at McDonalds with me. When we returned to the house, I could sneak out back and slit Mr. and Ms. Duck’s throats and head for the airport. If I happen to cut myself in the process, I would just say that I did it on a drinking glass in my Chicago hotel room. On my return, I could act saddened and shocked by the bloody murder of the ducks and ask my good friend to come over and drive me around town while I grieved. Of course I would be totally unaware that I was being pursued by a large force of Texas lawmen that would patiently wait for the vehicle to stop so that they could take me into custody for suspicion of duck murder. I, in turn, would immediately suggest that the murder was carried out by “O.J. Simpson”. They always lookin’ for something to hang on O.J.!
Anyway…that’s my story as I sit here in my federal government duck handcuffs and watch these two lovers attempt to destroy my roof and my pool knowing full well that I could easily end up on national television wearing an orange jumpsuit and looking like O.J. Simpson all the while pleading that I never meant to hurt the ducks…I just wanted them to leave. I wonder if I should go out and buy a white Ford Bronco… just in case?
©Copyright WBrown2013. All Rights Reserved.
19 May 2013