Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Duck delusion

The manager of the safari camp is laughing his head off at a news story from England. Apparently, a hoary old farmer is being followed everywhere by a duck, which mistook him for its mother after hatching in his pocket. In the manager’s eyes, such mollycoddling of a duck egg is patently absurd: 

“Why didn’t he just soft boil it for breakfast!” he chortled. “The yolk would have been delicious on strips of toast.” 

“I believe the English farming fraternity prefer their eggs fried with bacon,” I said. “And now and again, they are swayed by their consciences to treat an egg in accordance with its parents’ wishes.” 

“Aren’t they just, the sentimental ninnies!” proclaimed the manager guffawing. “That’s what happens in a nation of animal lovers. The beasts become tame and the children run wild!” 
“Bravo, manager!” I exclaimed. “I shall add your pithy aside to my list of never-to-be-forgotten proverbs.” 

Are the English really a nation of animal lovers? That depends very much on both the animal and the lover. Many of them love dogs, many of them love cats, but few of them love both. Foxes are adored by the urbanites and persecuted by the country folk. Fish are ruthlessly fished in the belief that they derive some perverse enjoyment from wriggling at the end of a line. 

As for us gorillas, we are feared by some and admired by others. Occasionally that admiration swells into outright hero-worship, but I have dealt with this syndrome in previous posts, and have no wish to indulge in gratuitous boasting. 

The complex attitude of the English to animals is highlighted in another news item about a man who defecated on a dead hedgehog. The hedgehog is a much-loved creature of the English woodland, which often receives snacks from humans, yet relatively few of its benefactors feel obliged to treat its remains with respect. Only pets adopted as surrogate family members are given a Christian burial in England. 

I should add that the man who crapped on the hedgehog was arrested and put on trial for his misdeed. As with many cases of this type, the pivotal issue is the intent behind the act. If the accused deliberately pooped on the deceased animal, it’s as clear an example of a hate crime as you could wish to see. He ought to languish in prison until his nose hairs turn grey. But if he simply emptied his bowels recklessly without looking where he was shitting, he ought to be left off with a warning. I speak as a gorilla who may have accidentally dumped on the odd dead critter after getting caught short on jungle expeditions. 

Of course, it says something about England that you can be prosecuted for defecating on a dead hedgehog. In less enlightened nations, such behaviour would barely elicit a murmur of disapproval from onlookers, or even be cheered as an inventive form of high jinks. There is probably no better place for an animal to pop its clogs.                     
Update: The man was fined £200 and barred from Scotland for 3 days. (There are a lot of dead hedgehogs in danger of being pooped on in Scotland).

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Shitting on a hedgehog? Surely a pure accident. Hedgehogs are a rare sight... to save up the contents of one's bowels until one came across one in the hedgerows would require a gargantuan effort of will.
Awww, look at that adorable little hedgehog!!!! I want to hug him!

And the duck story is darling.

The pooping dude is pathetic--could he not get to a toilet or something? Gross. Hopefully, it was an accident because if it was on purpose, that would be really demented.

And, um, I've always wanted to hug a gorilla. Seriously. Love 'em.
“Pop its clogs.” What a great euphemism!
Always learning something new reading your blog posts... ;)
What genius to bring a duck to a pub. When the bill comes, the farmer could always say, "Put it on his bill."
Apparently, there are also animal lovers in Tijuana. At least during that stage show I saw.
I remember seeing a film about this imprinting phenomenon, with Psychologist Conrad Lorenz being followed by a bunch of geese who thought he was their father. It's pretty funny. Was that back in the 50's or 60's when it was discovered, GB?

I'd like to know what kind of drink this dude orders for his duck.

Unless it was squished road kill, I think crapping on a hedgehog is very brave, dead or alive. Have you seen the size of some of them, or am I thinking echidna? And why scramble an egg when the whole duck will follow you to the kitchen?
Steve: Have may have spotted the dead hedgehog and returned 6 hours later when his bowels were full. Never underestimate the ingenuity of the malevolent hedgehog-shitter.

Frisky Virgin: He is a cute little fellow, Miss Virgin, but I'm not sure he's really smiling. I'm saving up a big hug for you if ever our paths should cross.

Beth: I think it's an old expression from the North of England, Beth. Don't ask me how it originated.

Al Penwasser: The farmer should pay you for a joke that funny.

Robyn: I've not heard of that study, Robyn, but I'm aware that birds are particularly susceptible to forming attachments with humans. There was a story a few years ago about a pelican that fell in love with a woman.

Kellogsville: Do you mean he was brave to risk the humiliation of missing such a small target? I never realised that public shitters were so proud of their marksmanship.
Approx. 12 years ago, I crapped on the passenger seat of a minivan....on the way home from a dinner outing. I was the butt of jokes for awhile with the close kin that knew of the event, but i wasnt arrested...for the love.....
The English must learn to let things go...
As far as that duck...I hope he lives a long healthy life
“That’s what happens in a nation of animal lovers. The beasts become tame and the children run wild!” ... one of the best proverbs I've heard!

Sad for the hedgehog but that duck following that dude... what a sweet story. You know what else is sweet? King Kong... I've always had a King Kong fantasy Mr. GB. Will you be my King Kong? Yeah yeah, I know you didn't like the movie...

Anyways, do Gorillas like animals or have pets?
and to think it wasn't that long ago that the sun never set on the british empire. now they're reduced to prosecuting some poor bloke for relieving himself on a hedgehog that if the shoe was on the other foot would have crapped on the man with full impunity.
Thanks for reminding me of Christopher Moore's novel about King Lear's Fool. Someone in that novel screamed "like a moose trying to shit an entire family of hedgehogs."

And, by an amazing coincidence, thanks for reminding me of my first wife. She was great in the sack.
I hear the English are especially fond of pigs. Bacon sarnies, hamburgers, pork mince. You name it, they adore their piggies.
It really makes one question how boring a town must be to decide that someone defecating on a dead animal is worthy not only of prosecution but print. While it is disgusting, I can't imagine the mood of the arresting officer upon being assigned that task, or the glee the reporter surely must have felt when covering Hedgehog Hysteria 2011.
It seems like jolly ol' England should have laws about defecating in public, regardless of what dead animal is underneath the emitting anus.

Now, if the man was in his own home and crapping on dead pets, then maybe that's his business. We all end up as worm food anyway, if someone wants to grieve by laying a warm log of digested food waste on the corpse, so be it.
During a holiday in Melbourne last year, I had a chance to visit this really pretty farm where I saw a duck named Lucy, living with a horse. Apparently, they've been living together for 15 years since they were born !
Well. In Lucy's case, she hatched.
Reality Jayne: OK Jayne, but I assume you weren't intentionally trying to defile the the seat. Couldn't they have stopped the van and let you go on the side of the road?

Azra: King Kong was a good-hearted ape, but a bit of chump to get infatuated with a human female. If the woman had actually raised him like the farmer raised the duck it would made more sense.

Billy: Do you think a hedgehog would shit on a man? It would have to climb on the man first, which seems like a waste of effort.

Fred: Thanks for letting us know you have an ex-wife. Was she like the duck, the hedgehog or the farmer?

Tennyson: Yes, and they call pork sausages "bangers". They can't resist sexual innuendos either.

Angie: There must have been a lot of witnesses who complained about the incident. Sometimes the anger of the mob must be appeased.

Chris: I was wondering who'd be the first to make that subtle legal point. You reveal yourself as a lawyer, Sir!

Jaya: The behaviour of the duck doesn't surprise me, but why did the horse put up with it? Did the duck know how to groom it?
I think they kind of accepted each other as siblings. the farm people told us that the animals missed each other if they were apart. so the duck actually lives in the horse place, and the horse care not to step on Lucy.
So is that a yes or a no to playing KingKong to my damsel in distress act?
I'm staying at this Devonshire hotel and was just about to tuck into my hedgehog sandwich when I read your post. Naturally, and being English, I changed my mind opting instead for a plate of bacon and eggs. Not duck's eggs, though, as the duck was off!
i presume that the said hedgehog was on the side of the road, that's why the guy was arrested/

what a strange world we indeed live in
I always thought hedgehogs were chocolates that only came out during the Christmas season?

I had no idea that being a Gorilla could be so taxing. Your hind legs must be exhausted from standing on that pedestal all day.
Part of the punishment was a ban on going to Scotland for 3 days!! That's unnecessarily harsh ....
I have been to numerous blogs and never have I read about defecating on a dead hedgehog. Thanks!
A heart-rending tale GB. The poor beast defiled in such a manner. It is fortunate that the miscreant wasn't so pissed that he tried to wipe his arse with the hedgehog.
Jaya: I'm surprised the horse didn't let Lucy ride him if they were that close.

Azra: I never realised you were in distress, Miss Azra. If you acquaint me with your circumstances I'll do what I can, which may be very little given our disparate locations.

Time Warden: I never realised they served duck eggs in Devon. I wonder what put the duck off laying them.

John Gray: I believe not. I have added an update giving further information.

Bschooled: Gorillas don't have hind legs, Ms Bschooled. We have legs and arms, like you humans. Both types of limb are long and exceptionally resilient.

Lady Daphne: Excellent follow-up research, milady! You have inspired me to add an update to the post.

Dr Ken: Humans will always invent new perversions - it's part of their creative nature.

Jon: Perhaps they wouldn't have bothered to arrest him if he'd lacerated his behind. Self-punishment would conserve the resources of the criminal justice system.
maybe the duck had gone quackers?

where do you find these news stories? What a wierd world we live in
But its a damsel in distress "act" Mr GB. As in theatre. I reckon we could rake in millions at London's West End. lol
And if ever our paths should cross, GB, I will gladly step into that big hug! For now, I can give you blog hugs: *Hugs* :)
If I was ever convicted of a crime, I think I'd like to be banned from my country for an extended weekend.

"For your crime of crapping on a dead armadillo, you must go to Mexico and drink tequila with Sammy Hagar for less than half a week. Fine, you can stay the whole week, but hotel costs are on you, buddy." That's what they would do in Texas, for example.
Great post. Followed :)
DFTP: There are English women who really would say the duck was "quackers". Dr Lucy Worsley is possibly one of them.

Azra: My performing days are over, Miss Azra, but I wouldn't hesitate to rescue you if you really were in distress.

Frisky Virgin: I shall look forward to that day, Miss Virgin.

Chris: It sounds like they're getting pretty liberal in Texas!

Bones: Thank you, Bones! Give my regards to Jim and Spock!
But what about the duck? Did they ever take up a collection for therapy?
Therapy would ruin the duck's happiness. Who would benefit from being told the person they call "daddy" is a member of a different species?
Crapping on a dead hedgehog? Really?First Simon Cowell and then this.... Thanks a freekin lot England!
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