Last Saturday, I saw something quite out of the ordinary on one of my neighbor's porches. Even for Hampden, it's not every day you see two (presumably freshly) dead mallards draped lifelessly over a stone wall. To make the situation a little stranger, the ducks were kept company by an empty beer bottle and discarded hunting clothes.
It was actually the hunting gear that tipped me off to the fact that these were real ducks. I live in a bubble filled with many squeaky life-like stuffed bird toys thanks to a dog that insists on having a steady supply of things to destroy. Naturally, when I passed the ducks the first time - I made a comment to the dog.
"Look, Bogey! Duckie toys!" (Don't judge me for that conversation. I refuse to be one of those people who consults their dog on everything within the walls of their house and then takes silent, stoic walks around the neighborhood.)
But these duckie toys had blood on them. And despite the element of realism it might bring to a dog's playtime activities, I doubt PETA would let Petsmart get away with selling something like that. Indeed, these were real ducks. Now, to give you a little history lesson, "duck" was in fact my first word (according to my parents). They were stenciled on a bulkhead in our family room and so naturally, one day I simply identified them. I've been drawn to ducks all my life. I like the way they look, sound, and yes - taste. I probably couldn't bring myself to shoot one but I have no illusions about how the duck confit makes it to my plate. But I digress..
...so let's recap.
There are ducks on my neighbor's front porch. And there's an empty beer bottle next to them. The hunting gear has since been removed.
They were first spotted 8 days ago. These ducks have since endured two snow storms and a 40-degree day but remain lifeless four doors down.
I have no idea what this particular neighbor looks like and apparently neither do my next-door neighbors.
To my knowledge, the only wild animals in my area are cats. (And yet, the cats haven't touched these ducks.)
Since I have no idea who this neighbor is (besides what the Department of Assessment and Taxation could tell me) or what he looks like - I have not the faintest idea of what the backstory might be on these birds and their executioner. I am, however, intrigued.
Apparently, there's a hunter in Hampden.