Duck and Chucks,
We're super-ducking impressed with VINE Sanctuary in Vermont, who do amazing, flipper-tickling work for animals. [You can donate here.] And wow, the stories they have for us from their community put some pep in this duck's feathers! Check 'em out below and you'll see why I always say, "Life should be more like a duck pond."
Birds who know that love is love—Pattrice jones, Cofounder and Coordinator, writes* about how, when VINE was rehabilitating a rooster who'd been used in cockfighting, the rooster teamed up with a Muscovy duck called Ready. Together, being ducking awesome, they co-parented a duckling who'd been cast out by her mother. "Along with their friend Rocky the peacock (who had a crush on Sharkey)," writes pattrice jones, "they cocreated a vibrant community of care without regard for what people think about who should love who."
*This story comes from pattrice jones' article in"Queer Eros in the Enchanted Forest: The Spirit of Stonewall as Sustainable Energy," published in FORUM, Stonewall Fiftieth Anniversary Edition.
A Muscovy duck who took no quackduckery—Seagull, a duck rescued from a livestock auction, was a marvelous peacekeeper from flippers to beak, according to pattrice jones. Once, a newly rescued rooster who didn't yet know that VINE Sanctuary was a peaceful community, started to chase a more elderly rooster. Did Seagull sit back on her flippers and watch? No ducking way!
"Seagull intervened before I could get there," writes pattrice jones. "Marching into the middle of the altercation, Seagull said something to each of the roosters in turn and then used her body to walk the aggressor away from the victim, talking to him in a scolding tone the whole time. He backed off, seemingly abashed, and he never aggressed anyone again. From that point forward, I thought of Seagull as my comrade in the project of peacekeeping. My respected comrade." Read more at the VINE Sanctuary blog.
Boyfriends who reunited against the odds—To Pattrice Jones [in FORUM—see credit below], it seemed that Jean-Paul and Jean-Claude, who'd been rescued from extreme cruelty, were not getting on. One seemed to be attacking the other. "Three times, I broke up what seemed to be a vicious attack," writes Pattrice Jones, "removing the victim to another part of the sanctuary, only to later discover that he had climbed a fence, walked through the woods, walked down a road and up a driveway and then climbed one more fence to reunite himself with his . . . boyfriend?"
Jones knew that ducks are among hundreds of nonhuman animals who commonly have same-sex relationships (go figure, look at gay me!). It was her human assumptions that had led her to separate the ducks, who, she writes, "remained together (albeit not monogamously) until the end of their lives."
This story comes from pattrice jones' article in "Queer Eros in the Enchanted Forest: The Spirit of Stonewall as Sustainable Energy," published in FORUM.
So, chucks [Duck uses this word to affectionately refer to humans, folks], don't delay! Take a leaf out of the bird community's book today! Because it really would be a more loving, peaceful world if we all took responsibility for peace, love, and community.
You can donate to support VINE Santuary's amazing work here. Also, if you're interested, pattrice jones also has an article about ecofeminism that includes lots about queer birds— you can order it here.