Bob and white Muscovy duck Hector enjoy a placid moment in the backyard.


Hector is a duck my wife, Linda, bought for a quarter from a farmer down the road who kept Hector in a small cage next to the house once he had begun chasing the children. His occasional aggressiveness toward Linda and me would lead one to believe that his confinement intensfied a bad attitude toward the human overlords.

However, see What the Hec? for a different side of his nature.

Among Hector's very few shortcomings is a badly functioning oil gland. Muscovy ducks originate in the tropics and aren't associated as closely with water as North American ducks. Hector is especially ill-suited to life around liquids. During winter we have to bring him into the basement and park him in front of heater to thaw out the ice crystals on his feathers, and we also have to dry him out during cold rainy weather.

Such are the many joys of owning poultry.


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