Ducks and Chucks,
As pond manager at our local pond, this duck always tries to make sure that we have an inclusive and diverse pond culture. But wouldn't you know it, I recently had to fire our health and safety duckling, Smoothy Ducko, who'd offended almost every bird on the pond. He was always forgetting my partner Peacock Riley's they/them pronouns. He kept staring at Goose Luce's flippers. He mocked Mallard Jones' Britishness. And he said some very speciesist things about Swan Juan'a neck length.
Well, he's gone now. Got a job at Duck Dunkin, I believe. But in order to heal our pond's sad soul, I have sourced seventeen queer ducklings who are a hundred percent committed to NOT making others feel ducking uncomfortable. Enjoy.
1. Rocko McDuckling—I believe this duckling is named Rocko McDuckling. He's a flipper-tickling fan of queer duck wrestling. If you're happy for him to bat you with his extraordinarily well-developed right wing, you'll likely be bruised, impressed, and entirely unoffended by any of his language use, thank you very much.
2. Some very nice duckie in specs—I met this duckie while I was on a Ducks For Justice protest. Their attitude to bird politics really put the spice in my goldfish. I believe they were carrying a placard that said, "Respect difference! It's the duck's pajamas!" which wraps up the whole be-a-good-duckie thing very nicely.
3. Up-Close-And-Personal Trixie Duckers—Trixie Duckers is just wonderful to text, but as you can see, they have some radical ideas when it comes to personal space. I mean, that beak is way up close, which is problematic during a pondemic [that's duck-speak for pandemic—Star]. Still, they are absolutely one hundred percent committed to doing the right thing, which is why, whenever you them to keep two yards away, they totally commit to it. Now, that's the good stuff I'm quacking about.
4. Cornish Dave—If I'm not mistaken, this is Cornish Dave, a pond-crossing specialist who, until recently, held the fastest-ever British speed record for a pond-crossing. Now, he may be fast, but he also has ri-duck-ulously sharp hearing, so even if you whisper your pronouns/new name in his general direction, he's likely to hear them and use them. Nice guy.
5. Alia Kapoor—Alia Kapoor teaches Bollywood Dance Duck Aerobics at our local duckling center. Ze is the duckling to DM if you have a Bollywood emergency—and during a pondemic, who doesn't? Only the other day, Riley and I were facing a terrible show-hole that really sucked flipper. Who did we call for viewing suggestions? Alia Kapoor. Ze is inclusive of everyone in zir aerobics sessions. No duck gets left out!
6. The Quackling Quintuplets—The Quackling Quintuplets are Barney, Delilah, Jax, Poke, and Drizzle, and they're famous in the queer duck community for making duck-ass pop music that really puts the beat in your beak. That said, these bopping quacklets do not take kindly to photos, hence the symbolic duckies below. Will they do their best to respect your differences? Duck yes. Trust me.
7. Beaker St. Claire—Is there a clucking in your engine? A feather in your air vents? A strange "quacker-quacker" when you turn the ignition? Take your duck-wheels to Beaker St. Claire, who'll fix you up with a wrench and a smile.
Yes, Beaker's young, but she's far from naive, and she knows all there is to know about duck vehicles. Plus she gets what it means to be a female duckling in a male-dominated profession. Will she treat your Qoyota Qacoma with respect? Will she swiftly replace the tyres on your Dadilac? Will she treat your gleaming Quorvette like a royal plover? Yes, yes, and yes.
8. Wheelie Flappers—Wheelie is our duckling liaison officer at the pond. Not once have they been sizeist, racist, speciesist, sizeist, ageist, or misogynistic. Seriously, that mind is a steel trap. Yes, they are constantly taking part in duckling aerobics, which does make it a little ducking hard to liaise about anything, but is there respect? Yes there ducking is. And what matters more than that?
9. Shocking Mike of Ducksy—Mallard Jones, my English frenemy who lives in a nearby castle, once really offended Shocking Mike of Ducksy, who's featured below, is also a Brit, and has a job flipping pondweed burgers at our local DuckToGo. I'm not sure what that beak-head Mallard Jones said to Shocking Mike, but I did hear it was something classist. Anyway, Shocking Mike responded by donning a crown and never taking it off. Conclusion? We're all ducking royalty. You can count on Shocking Mike to get that.
10. Littlefoot Moll—Got an achy beak or a crick in your boat-shaped bod? It's time to look up Littlefoot Moll. Moll is quackers-good at duck massage and really knows how to manipulate those feathers. As you can see from below, she uses her flippers to waddle-massage your achiest places, but she'll be very careful to ask for permission before she mounts your duckness. Post-massage? Bliss.
Moll always massages my flappers after I've been on duck-directing duty. As a pond manager, you really have to point, otherwise birds totally miss you, and then everyone's swimming in the wrong direction, which really puts a knot in my tail. Last time, Mallard Jones completely missed my hand/wing-gestures and ended up going in the wrong direction. Long story short, he got his beak stuck in the muck at the edge of the pond and it took me a full thirty minutes to pull him out. Talk about ducking overtime.
So there you have it, chucks and ducks. There are a whole host of ducklings/people out there who will wholeheartedly embrace your ducking awesome differences. And if we hire anyone else on our pond who doesn't respect others, they'll be "nudging a side of potato," as we say in the duck community (which means they'll be served, but in a notice way—not a meat-and-mash way).
Over and out,