Sometimes I visit the park. There I wander around in a wholesome, nostalgic reverie of sunshine, I chase squirrels and I relive childhood memories by feeding the ducks. Then I read signs telling me that throwing bread to the ducks is now listed as an abusive behaviour on par with pen clicking, badger bothering and chewing with one’s mouth open. Basically, it makes you a monster.
Have you seen these signs? They’re popping up at parks all over the place. They warn people that bread is really very bad for ducks and we should stop tossing it directly at the little quackers to while away our afternoons. Most people brazenly ignore these signs, of course, and continue throwing large globs of white bread into the water. These people have a streak of bread based bad-assery where I have a pit of guilt and shame at my previous delinquent duck feeding.
You know what this means? My whole childhood was a lie. How can this happen? Why? The ducks never told me. The ducks seemed to be enjoying it. They even fought over the bread, stalked us for our sandwiches, snatched it from our timid fingers with their greedy beaks.
Now it turns out it’s bad for them. Duck dietitians tell us that when ducks have free and easy access to white bread – not nutritious for ducks in the slightest – they don’t bother to seek out a healthy balanced diet. This should surprise no one. I practically have free and easy access to white bread and I’m getting less and less healthy by the minute. And I’m almost twice as smart as a duck.
We’re basically Uber Eats for ducks, turning up every lunchtime and throwing the duck equivalent of fried chicken and pies into their homes. Bombarding them with sundaes. It’s no wonder they’re not going out of their way to seek out any duck broccoli.
It gets worse. The leftover bread in the water gets eaten by bacteria, the bacteria breed, this leads to lots of disease in the water and before you know it, sick ducks everywhere projectile vomiting on your shoes.
I’ve always had an affinity with ducks. Just walk through a park and listen; the ducks laugh at you. Or with you, depending on if you’re in on the joke. Really listen next time you walk along the pond, you’ll understand. I used to give them bread so I’d stay in on the joke, but now if you want to treat your duck friends right you should be giving them defrosted frozen peas, oats, rice or worms. Seriously, worms. I am never gonna be a healthy worm snack dispensary, sorry Captain Quack.
This isn’t even a new development. Once home I did a little bit of research and found this article from 2015. This is just the way life is now. Everything you thought was pure and simple is actually terrible.
Go to the park, throw rice like confetti and have a duck wedding. It’s the only way left to have fun.
Credit: Ducks in park image by Freepik