Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Evil bread

When we were in Portland visiting my brother and his wife a couple of weeks ago, my parents joined us there for part of the trip. One warm day we took a long walk to a beautiful park, where we had a picnic, played on the playground, and fed the ducks in the pond.


It was a day full of classic grandparent/grandchildren activities. Until...

"Excuse me." The voice was coming from a kid, about eight years old, who'd approached us at the pond. The child earnestly continued, "I'm here with my school, and we're doing a study on the pond. You really shouldn't feed the ducks. People are feeding them, and they're getting sick."

I put the bread I was holding back into its bag and replied, "Well, then I guess we'd better stop feeding them! Thank you for telling us!"

By this time other kids had joined the original. One of them pointed to an apple at the edge of the pond. "Oh, they can eat apples!" she said. "And you can feed them duck food." (Duck food?)

Another kid held out the clipboard he was holding, where he had a paper for recording data. He carefully erased the "0" he'd written next to the question, "How many groups of people did you see feeding the ducks?" "Now I can write '1' here!" he happily declared.

One girl sweetly told me, "I'm sorry you can't feed the ducks. I used to go feed the ducks with my dad, and it was the only time he left the house." Oh, goodness. I tried to be encouraging, telling her that maybe she could get some duck food and come back with her dad.

The kids returned to their group, and we packed up to leave, glad we'd been able to oblige by unwittingly participating in their study (and hoping we hadn't made any ducks sick by feeding them that evil bread.)


Strange Mamma said...

Oh boo. That's so funny, though. At the farms here, they encourage you to bring bread along to feed the ducks. Huh. Maybe different bread in the UK? Or hardier ducks.

InspiredDreamer said...

I wonder if it's the type of bread that matters. I betcha most people buy Wonderbread for the ducks. What if you gave them some good 12-grain? :)

Call Me Cate said...

Maybe the ducks are low-carbing for some reason.

I might've been tempted to toss the kid in the pond but sounds like you were outnumbered.

stacief said...

This summer we set out a few times to go feed ducks in a few different cities and were really surprised by all the "Please don't feed the ducks" signs. Who knew all those years ago when I was a kid feeding ducks that it was such a bad thing!

LEstes65 said...

So are you saying I need to stop tossing them corn dogs?

Scriptor Senex said...

OK, so why are there still ducks on the park lakes. Shouldn't they have sunk (or whatever) from all the bread we all fed them as youngsters?

Barga said...

it does not sicken them, and the kids are misinformed

Rather, it creates an overreliance on humans which leads to death later when they are unable to find their food source - you

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Our large park has ducks, swans, birds (sparrows, starlings etc...) and Canadian geese. There are notices everywhere saying "Don't feed the Canadian geese".

Apparently they've decided not to migrate back to Canada and enjoy staying here where they are fed.

So the "Authorities" decided to educate the public by putting the notices up everywhere.

Unfortunaltely, geese can't read.

So when you throw bread at the swans and ducks the geese move in on mass and take over.

And the people move away in a hurry in case some Park Attendant nearby can read !!!!