The Louisiana State University campus where I went to school years ago had lakes full of ducks, whose behavior made it clear that they owned the lakes; they marched, waddled, and squawked behind anyone having a class near their house, making it clear that if you were going to stop by their house, you’d better bring bread.
We students could hear the beating of duck wings and a chorus of squawking before opening our eyes every morning, including on weekends. Perhaps the roosters were born to wake up the farmers and the ducks were born to motivate the students.
Most of the ducks I passed by were polite, but afterwards, he had bread, if he didn’t pay his right of way, he was greeted by the aggressive crowd.
The ducks knew which students were going to feed them, just like a waiter knows good tippers, but if you expected to get past the pond without a tip, they would immediately attack you, while the capsized were peacefully surrounded by flapping of joy.
By the way, by the end of the first semester, most of the students knew that they had to leave the house every day with their books and a bag of bread for the ducks.
Although the students had many things in mind, such as tests, assignments, and whatever else they needed for class, occasionally a student forgot to bring food for the ducks.
Consequently, a student’s forgetfulness gave Daddy Duck an opportunity to teach the rest of us a valuable lesson.
As well as entertaining the campus with the funniest thing most of us have ever witnessed in public; this duck dad reminded us never to step on his property without his family’s breakfast.
The morning Daddy Duck lost his temper, I was sitting by one of the University lakes reading when I overheard a couple arguing in front of a couple of ducks. The voices of the couple arguing and the squawking of the goose sounded like an aggressive duck fight; and one strong enough to break an elephant’s eardrum.
To be fair, this family of ducks weren’t bothering anyone until the pair arrived. They were minding their own business, trying to feed their ducklings breakfast and send them off to duckling school when these people showed up and disturbed their morning.
Thus, one could understand why Daddy Duck made a fuss over the apparent rudeness of the human pair and quickly charged in their direction.
When he approached the couple, the man realized that they were challenging him, so he raised his hands as if he was being detained, but Mr. Gander was already chasing him.
Everyone around the lake, including me, started laughing as this poor man kept yelling for help and running away from his attacker. While the rest of the duck family squawked, the guy screamed and raised his fists as if demanding a fair fight from the creature, who continued his advance until chasing the guy down the sidewalk.
Then later that morning the strangest thing happened, I was sitting in a boring history class (reading a novel) when I heard squawking again, only this time, I was in a classroom, so the honking and flapping argument of feathers, it must have sounded like a rocket in the hall.
The classroom had three hundred theater-style seats and two double doors at the entrance, so the students, including myself, sitting in the seats near the entrance, could hear someone outside yelling, “Let go of me, oh, let go,” often. from more squawking and honking, until the double doors to the classroom slammed open, and the same man was running away from the daddy duck I saw that morning.
I was amazed. How was this possible? Had this poor man been fighting this duck since the war started? Then, instead of rescuing their fellow student, they all started climbing into the upper seats to get away from the dangerous creature; that he was doing his best to sink his head enough to pinch the man’s heels and balance his wings at the same time.
The man ran up the row of seats with Papa Duck in hot pursuit biting his ankles … as the students yelled, “Did you forget to give him bread?”
Finally, someone grabbed onto both the man and the duck, and the situation was stopped with a screech, a horn and a flying feather, leaving an entire classroom of students laughing hysterically.
This behavior from daddy ducks that morning was one of the most valuable lessons I have learned without having to pay a penny or endure a consequence.
And the lesson was; there are strict rules when it comes to ducks; you should always bring bread, and never interrupt a daddy ducks, breakfast, lunch or dinner.