{15/02/2012}   Ducks

Ducks.  I am going to dedicate my post to ducks, everything I can think to say about ducks.  There are some standing on a frozen lake outside the window I’m sitting opposite and they’ve inspired me to write about them.
Of all edible animals/birds/fish, ducks are the only ones I look at then want to have for dinner.  It’s quite disturbing.  I do enjoy eating duck.  I don’t like orange or fruit sauce with duck though, I don’t care that they’re supposed to “go”.  I had roast duck the other day, how good is the crispy skin?  And that lovely rich, dark meat.  Eek, feeling slightly barbaric!
One morning, while I was living in Christchurch, New Zealand, I had breakfast sitting on a park bench.  Two ducks waddled over and they sat by my feet.  It was a real bonding moment, they were like two guards.  I vowed there and then never to eat duck again.  But, with duck in mind, I forgot and had duck for dinner.  Then I felt awful.  So I usually spend a little time paying ducks attention when I walk past them, maybe why I am writing about ducks, though perhaps I ought to leave the subject of eating them and focus on their living loveliness.
My friend Kaori absolutely loves duck bottoms when they stick out of the water when the ducks are feeding under water.  I can see why, they are strangely cute and fluffy.  Now I have written this, it sounds a bit odd but maybe, surely, you know what I mean!
I grew up living near Leeds Castle, where we often went for walks.  There are a lot of water fowl there, including Mandarin Ducks.  The male Mandarin Duck is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen, so colourful and handsome.  I still love looking for them when I go there as it’s always a challenge to find them as they aren’t as sociable or common as other water fowl.
There is a little girl now feeding the ducks on the largely frozen lake.  This is reminding me that I used to loved doing that.  If we were on a sandwich based picnic, I would be deliberately messy so I would have more crumbs to throw.  Actually, I used to sneakily break off large crumbs.  See, it was all about the ducks’ welfare in those days!  However, this has also reminded me of the bit in About a Boy where Marcus throws a loaf of bread into a lake and accidentally kills a duck.  Why do all my duck stories seem to end in duck death?

Why is Bombay Duck called duck when it’s actually fish, a lizardfish?  Very misleading.  I don’t like dried salted fish when I’m hoping for roast duck.  Oh, crispy pancakes …

  Ducks quacking makes me think of ponds, throwing crumbs, childhood … and what to have for dinner … (I feel awful but I just can’t not think it when I see or think of ducks!)


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