Photo of Allan and Duck By Kathryn Bunch

This essay is rather elderly now (note my extremely long and auburn hair) but every time we drop it, we are swamped with appeals for its return. So here it is, The Original Duck Of Death:

I participated in the Great American Duck Races recently in Deming, New Mexico. Town motto: "Clean Water and Fast Ducks." I rented a duck for $5 (proceeds go to the humane society, the sponsors). Gave him a name: The Duck Of Death.

The crowd cheered when the announcer called his name.
My pit crew (consisting of Kathryn and our friends, the Beatys) sang our Official Song (to the tune of "The Duke Of Earl".) "Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck of Death, Death, Death, Du-ck Of Deathhh!"

I tucked the noble bird into Gate Eight at the Duck Downs Speedway. More cheers: "Duck of Death. Duck of Death. Go, Go, Duck of Death!"

Bang! went the starter pistol. Off went the ducks, flapping and quacking down the racecourse.

Oh, and did I mention the prize was $2,000? And that there were PROFESSIONALS in the race who have been coming here for sixteen years? They had sleek ducks with groomed feathers and snooty bills poking up into the air.

Anyway... the Duck Of Death was game. Waddled down the runway, leading the field. And the pit crew sang... "Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck of Death, Death, Death. Duck Of Death!" Our hero was flapping and quacking and waddling for the finish line for all he was worth.

And then... And then... he just sort of stopped. About six inches away. Turned around and looked at me. Quacking and flapping his wings. Couple of pro ducks streaked past... if you can imagine ducks streaking. Then the Duck Of Death suddenly got going again. Gave a loud Quack! and whirled, jumping over the finish line. Came in fourth. 

The Duck Of Death had met his match!