Vicki Briganti – CW50 Writer / Producer / Editor

I had a pet mallard for an hour. I named her Duffy.

While I was heating up leftover ham and scalloped potatoes in the microwave, I glanced out my kitchen window into the backyard. A female mallard duck was sitting on the edge of my pool cover.

I’ve had this 12’ round by 4’ deep albatross, um, I mean swimming pool, for 13 years. It’s so small, when people see it, they think it’s a hot tub. The most interesting birds I’ve ever seen go near the pool cover were a grackle and a pigeon. You decide which of those is the more interesting bird.

Now, on a random Wednesday evening, Duffy has graced my yard with her ducky presence. And she didn’t just land and fly away. She stayed. I clocked her at over an hour. Enough time to take pictures and view her through my binoculars.

Many thoughts crossed my mind. Can you capture and tame a wild duck and keep her for a pet? Is it legal? Who would know? I didn’t want to scare her off so I stayed about 40 feet away in the kitchen. She kept dipping into the pool, which is filled with rainwater. I wish I could have approached closer and taken clearer pictures, but I didn’t want her to fly off.

Where was her mate? Mallards usually travel in pairs. The way she kept hopping into the pool cover, out of sight, I wondered if she was in there hatching eggs. Not sure how I feel about my yard being used as a maternity ward. I’d have to charge a fee.

You should know; I rarely swim in the pool during the summer. I hate opening and closing the pool. It’s a lot of work. It’s the albatross around my neck. Or in my yard, as the case may be. Has it been worth all the years of effort for one hour with Duffy?

I see my fair share of squirrels and chipmunks in the backyard, but a mallard? This is big time. It’s like Elvis coming back to life and playing a show at Meadow Brook Music Festival. Well, maybe not Elvis. There would have to be a penguin in my yard for it to be as big as Elvis. How about Justin Bieber? A mallard is the Justin Bieber of backyard birds.

And I enjoyed a private, one-hour show. What a sight. A mallard sitting on an albatross.

You don’t see that every day.

>> More Motor City Musing With Vicki Briganti


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