Duck Duck Goose + Miley Cyrus = .... Anyone? Anyone?

Renae Brabham

Okay, so what do Miley Cyrus and ducks have in common? After observing people versus my pond this week, I conclude "AFLAC-ing lot."

I have a large pond just feet from my patio. What should be a relaxing experience watching nature and wildlife has turned into a man-made fiasco right in front of my eyes.


It started about six weeks ago. A white duck that looks exactly like the Aflac duck landed himself in a gang of Canadian geese and adapted an identity crisis. He has a particular favorite pack of seven that he hangs with. They respect him, they love him, and they let him guide them (seriously) all over that pond during the day.

But, when night falls, they fly to their sleeping quarters and guess who stays in the pond by himself?

Nature knows itself. He's not a goose, and he knows it. After all, if it quacks like a duck and acts like a duck... well, you know the rest. But NO!, in come the saviors. That's right, us humans. After all, the duck can't possibly live on its own, could it? So... let's commandeer a duck to serve as his sidekick. 


That's right, another Aflac duck was dropped off to be his friend—someone to play with during the day and the evenings when the geese fly away. To me, something didn't feel right about this, but Mr. Aflac seemed to love his new little white duck. They'd swim side by side all over the pond, and he stopped his incessant honking for the geese to come back. For three days, they brought the little duck to the pond. Mr. Aflac was sooooo happy!

And then one day, no release. The new duck was a no-show. The old duck quacked and quacked and walked to the area where they would bring his friend and then sat ever so quietly and with his head tucked. He didn’t resume his call for the geese.


Don't get me wrong, I am sure the big-hearted people who released the duck had good intentions. Just as the folks who show up daily to feed the duck and the geese have good intentions. I watch the flock being fed pounds of food every day, each feeder thinking they are solely keeping them alive. I have personally seen four to five quart-sized buckets of cracked corn fed to them every day by one sweet neighbor. Then the next comes over with her empty ice cream quart container and feeds them, oblivous that they have just eaten. Then, yet another bucket comes in the afternoon—all of this is in addition to numerous bags of old bread.

You can hardly see the pond water for the muck because what they would naturally eat turns to algae. Not to mention, this flock of geese has crapped enough to put a hole in the ozone layer over my house. 

First there were seven geese. Last week there were over 50. Flyovers have left us grumbling as we get into our cars in the morning. Goose poop is no joke. Driveways are littered with excrement and feathers. Flocks of black birds have descended to eat the leftovers and caw incessantly. And let’s not forget, it is a pond. People fish, they lose their line and tackle. I have seen two geese with lures attached to their webbing.

How does this relate to dear Miley? Well, yesterday, I pulled my blinds and headed to the computer with my coffee. (I can only bear to watch the geese in the morning now when they glide across the new blue horizon and touch down in the pond. Everything beyond that point is orchestrated.) I wiggled my mouse to wake up my computer. Miley Cyrus was all over the headlines.  After hours of reviews and remarks, I fell prey to this headline. Miley shocks the world with her twerking performance on VMA.  It took 10 minutes for me to get the nerve to do a Google search on twerking. Afterwards, I silently prayed that my computer would never be confiscated and that seedy search found on my search drive.


Then I took a walk with Snowy and realized I couldn't look up at the clear blue skies to enjoy the morning for avoiding the geese poop on the ground. We created the problem ourselves,  so should we put on a shocked face when the source fed in excess creates poop?  


I immediately thought about Miley Cyrus? What went wrong there? Let's go back a few years. 2006 to be exact. Hannah Montana. 



No, let's start a little further back and show our innate ability to actually breed the illness. Billy Ray Cyrus... Don't break my heart my achy breaky heart... Lord, I still cringe when I hear the song and every man I know that had a mullet is still trying to forget about it.


We opened our wallets and drove that ridiculous song to damn near an anthem in the U.S. We made a rich man out of Billy Ray Cyrus from Flatwoods, Kentucky. I have absolutely nothing against wealth, but I like to think I know the difference between a fad and talent.

But darnit, I did it again. When my granddaughters were little, I bought them Miley Cyrus clothes, pens, pocket books, accessories, and bookbags. I have twinges of guilt about that today.

Now I stick with classic character gifts (i.e. Hello Kitty, Spiderman). Their true worth doesn't come from what others think about them, the cheers of the crowd, clothes, make-up, money. And, you don't get that nasty taste in your mouth when you open a closet to the leftover lunchboxes and junk from the Brittany, Lindsay, and Miley era.

Meanwhile, my poor duck is on skid row. Because we thought it was pretty, we fed it and we told it we would provide love and then we took it away. Meanwhile, the Canadian geese may not fly away this winter. Why should they? 


I'll try not to be surprised when it's snowing poop.