Nancy's Story---"One day about 12 years ago, my husband came home from fishing in a city lake with a big white duck. He saved it from drowning as it went down for the third time. We learned that it was a Muscovy duck and they can't stay in the water too long without becoming waterlogged. At Christmas time, I thought it would be charming to have the duck in the house, so I tried to diaper the duck. This first attempt was quick and ineffective, but I knew from then on that I COULD DIAPER A DUCK! Several years later in October of 1994, I decided to act on that idea. I went to a feed store to purchase a day old duck, and invented a diaper harness for it. The duck was Matilda, a little buff Orpington, to whom this book is dedicated. Were it not for Matilda's intelligence, friendliness and charm, the whole idea would have stopped right there.
But it didn't. Three years after Matilda, we adopted Maggie, a Sebastopol goose, and two years later we got Mimi, a Toulouse. A few months after Matilda passed away, we brought home Cricket the Crested duck. Little did I know that they would change our lives forever. Instead of managing apartments as were when I got Matilda, we are now Mother and Father Goose at several Renaissance Festivals, where thousands of patrons have received hugs from Maggie and cuddled Mimi and Cricket on their laps.
Many people have asked me since, why I would want to diaper a duck. At the time, all I knew was that ducks will imprint on people and follow them around. I also knew that practically speaking, it would be easier to diaper a duck than it would be to diaper a cat or dog. Their inability to be house trained seemed to be the only reason they weren't house pets. Prior to civilization becoming aware of the benefits of sanitation, ducks and geese frequently made themselves at home in houses, being quite at ease around humans. I thought they would be charming, pretty, sweet but dumb additions to a home.
After having lived in extremely close proximity to ducks and geese every day since, and studied everything I could find on domestic waterfowl, I have learned what incredible companions to man these beautiful birds can be. I have also found that many people want to raise waterfowl as pets, but few people know how and, heretofore, have only been able to find out how to raise flocks for meat and eggs. This book is written specifically for those who want only one or two as pure pets. Having a pet duck or goose without understanding what they are capable of, how they learn, and what they need could be like having a horse and not knowing you could ride it! Whether you ever plan to have one or not, I think you will enjoy learning about these remarkable creatures. Several unique gifts of nature, quite different from those given to any other animal, allow waterfowl to truly join the human race while welcoming us into their world." In Loving Memory of Nancy Townsend