I think ducks should be required to wear warning signs around their necks. Sure they look cute, but looks are deceiving.
Ducks are evil.
One episode of enlightenment occurred seven years ago, while I was out enjoying a pleasant canoe trip with two friends in Lake Washington during Seafair weekend. Not only was the weather and company sublime, the scene was made that much better when the Blue Angels flew overheard in perfect formation. After an hour, we rowed in to an alcove for shade and sandwiches. As we ate peacefully, a little duck came paddling over to us. We each broke off a piece of bread crust and watched the duck eat with delight. He flapped his little duck wings and squawked his little duck voice. We were enamored.
Until the duck army came.
No sooner had the bird swallowed our offerings when an entire gang of ducks came swimming towards us. We were shocked by their size and speed, but managed to gather our wits and start rowing. They attacked our canoe before we could get very far. All of them tried to jump inside. It was a moment reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
After a clamor of squawks and shrieks and oars, we got away.
The second episode of awareness happened last Thursday night. Hubby and I went to the local career center to watch a few of our young friends give 4H demonstrations. One of the presentations, given by a youth we didn't know, was 'how to show a duck at the county fair.' He was a polite, soft-spoken boy who handled his animal with care. It was the duck who looked uncomfortable being presented to a room full of people (after being caged for an hour). The boy carried on and made it through his demo with a few minor distractions and giggles from the audience.
We caught up with him afterwards while waiting for the awards to be announced. I was curious about this bird, as he was all black in color (not something I had seen before). The boy answered my questions and was eager to pull the duck back out of its cage when I asked to pet him. The petting went well, it was the holding that went awry. The boy offered the bird to me, and I took the bird in my arms. I held him like a baby and coddled him, touching his little duck head and caressing his little duck feathers. Not two minutes earlier, I had asked the boy if it hurt when his bird nipped him with it's beak and the boy said, "Not really." So, when the duck started nipping at my hand I wasn't concerned. And he was right, it didn't hurt.
It was when the villainous fowl turned his head and bit my chest that my opinion changed.
Ducks are dangerous. Consider yourself warned.