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  • mistermuse 6:10 pm on February 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ducks, , , lame ducks, Pekin ducks, , , , ,   


    With Congress – every time they make a joke it’s a law. And every time they make a law it’s a joke.
    –Will Rogers

    I don’t know who comes up with these “holidays,” but February 6 is LAME DUCK DAY, which might just as well be called LAME JOKE DAY because it recognizes incumbent politicians (and other potentates) whose term in power will soon expire. Now you may reason from the above quote that, like me, Will Rogers would think honoring Lame Ducks is a lame joke. But he also famously said he never met a man he didn’t like….and I assume he’d already met at least a few politicians when he said it. So, as much as I respect Mr. Rogers, we’re probably not in the same neighborhood on the subject of lame ducks. But that’s an easy fix — let’s change the subject. Let’s talk about healthy ducks.

    As it happens, since I was a boy, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for ducks. I’ve had several as pets, the last of which was named Gussie. Gussie not only wasn’t lame, she wasn’t fussy….but she did have one thing in common with politicians: she laid many an egg during her tenure and never let it faze her. So here’s to Gussie and her Pekin predecessors, who inspired this poem I wrote many years ago (slightly updated):


    Lord love a duck
    And so do I….
    If you were me,
    That’s what I’d buy.

    But since you’re not
    Myself today,
    Let me put it
    To you this way:

    From wee duckling,
    Downy yellow,
    He’ll fast become
    White big fellow….

    Unless, of course,
    He lays an egg —
    In which case, you’ll
    Her pardon, beg.

    Oh, by the way,
    Friend, if you please,
    I hope that you
    Speak Pekin-ese.

    But seriously,
    Folks, as they say,
    That’s enough wise
    Quacks for today.

    You can search the Web,
    Even ask a vet —
    You won’t find a
    Better pet.

    They’ll stay outdoors
    In weather fowl,
    And not want in
    Or bark or howl.

    Their needs are few,
    As pet needs go —
    A cache of feed….
    Some H2O.

    And, best of all,
    A place to swim:
    No better treat
    For her or him.

    Before you know it,
    To me you’ll say,
    “Friend, have you hugged
    A duck today?”






    • Michaeline Montezinos 8:06 pm on February 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply


      No, I have not hugged a duck today
      but I did watch them as they lay
      on the banks of Crescent Lake,
      as a journey I did take
      In my scooter named Spitfire,
      bought for me by my Squire.
      It has a horn that goes Beep! Beep!
      loud enough to wake a sheep;
      the ducks come in many shades
      and do not live in the Everglades.
      The funny mud hens are ducks, too,
      they come in tints of black and blue.
      When they hear my scooter go bonking by
      the ducks sound off with a honking cry,
      As my horn goes beeping and tooting
      Ducks come to visit or run scooting
      to the quiet shade of the banyan tree
      whose gnarled limbs are a wild melee.

      By Michaeline Montezinos, Copyright February 6, 2015

      (Inspired by a poem about “Ducks” written by mistermuse.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:46 pm on February 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice, Michaeline. The last two lines well describe a banyan tree – at least, as I remember a tree-mendous one I saw in Hawaii over 30 years ago.


    • arekhill1 1:01 pm on February 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I had a traumatic childhood, like everybody else, and part of it revolved around two ducks I had for a few weeks as pets. They were busted for eating my mother’s crocuses, and I was told they were being taken away from me and going to a ‘big farm’ where they would quack their days away happily. It wasn’t for several years that Mom admitted they were instead eaten almost immediately by the “farmer.”

      Haven’t berated her for that in years. Better give her a call. Thanks for reminding me, guys.


    • mistermuse 4:08 pm on February 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” – or (apparently) like a woman whose eaten crocuses are mourned. But you’re right, Ricardo – such childhood experiences never leave us. We forgive but can’t forget.


    • Don Frankel 3:17 pm on February 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      There’s a baseball expression “ducks on the pond” which mean you’re up and there are runners in scoring position. That never made any sense to me. I mean if I get a hit the ducks will swim in? Are they on base or something?


    • mistermuse 10:02 pm on February 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, l’ve heard the expression, but never stopped to consider the origin, so I Googled it. It apparently goes back to the 1940s, but there’s no clear “bases” for it. Sorry, I struck out.


  • mistermuse 6:31 am on October 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boys, children's books, , ducks, , library, , ,   


    My kids haven’t been kids for many a decade. I, on the other hand, have almost decayed, but am still a kid. The old saying must be true that you can’t take the boy out of the man….at least, I think it’s an old saying. My memory isn’t as good as it used to was.

    Anyway, what prompted the foregoing musing was a Children’s Books catalog I got in the mail the other day. Why the sender thought a V.A.P. (Very Ancient Person) might be a potential buyer of young children’s books, I can’t say — but upon perusing the catalog’s oft-amusing titles, I must admit I’m tempted. What young-at-heart reader wouldn’t be thrilled at the thought of receiving any of these books (words in italics quoted from book description):

    ME HUNGRY! by Jeremy Tankard (sounds like he might be thirsty, too) — Book begins with a cave boy saying, “Me hungry!” Ignored by his family (“Me busy!”), he suddenly is inspired to hunt. But rabbit hides, and porcupine is too sharp, and tiger is too mean.
    And you think you’ve got trouble.

    DUCK IN THE TRUCK by Jez Alborough — While driving home, Duck gets his truck stuck in the muck.
    Does duck have the pluck to buck such yuck? Or is duck schmuck-out-of-luck?

    I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS by Michael Morpurgo — Eight-year old Tomas Porec hated school, hated reading, and hated stories, until the unicorn came to the library.
    Why not? According to Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell of Answers In Genesis, the absence of a unicorn (mentioned in Job 39:9-12) in the modern world “should not cause us to doubt its past existence.” Tomas Porce was probably in a very old library in the very old days.

    SANTA RETIRES by David Biedrzycki — Things up north are going south. “Sacks are getting bigger. Chimneys are getting smaller. And you never know what the weather will throw at you.” So Santa announces that he means to retire.
    Say it isn’t so, Santa! Will Santa go the way of the unicorn? Come back, Santa!

    There are more fascinating titles such as THE GREAT FAIRY TALE DISASTER and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, but I’m already overwrought just thinking about the books I’ve already covered and wondering how they’ll turn out. Maybe you could order me one or two for Christmas. Hopefully Santa will change his mind and deliver them like a good old boy.


    • arekhill1 9:15 am on October 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m thinking of writing a children’s book myself, “Heather has Three Mommies and an Uncle Who Never Wears Pants” about life in a big, polygamous and polyamorous family. I don’t know if I can get it done by Christmas, though.


    • mistermuse 10:00 am on October 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I hope you can get it done by Christmas, Ricardo. If anything can convince Santa not to retire, that should do the trick.


    • Don Frankel 8:47 am on October 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Someone could send Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to Cave Boy and the Unicorn to the guy who’s truck got stuck.

      I like Richard the IVth’s book though. I mean someone has to write the first great novel about polyamorous love.


    • mistermuse 10:50 am on October 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      If anyone can send Meatballs and Unicorns to those in need, surely it’s Santa. All the more reason for the old boy to stay on the job until he and Mrs. Claus start making babies and raise a successor.


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