I live just around the corner from the Blackheath duck pond, in the beautiful Blue Mountains. I’ve developed a special relationship with the Australian wood ducks who live there. They are so good natured and engaging. It occurred to me that they must get a little bored just swimming about and eating grass in Memorial Park. To make matters worse, there are very few visitors now that we are in lock-down. One positive is that they are losing weight, thanks to the lack of little admirers feeding them bread.
What about a few acrobatics to take their fitness to the next level? We could even open a little circus once people are out and about again.
My first choice as a pupil was a young male….always so full of bravado.
OK, Daniel, let’s try balancing on one leg. Dear me, it took a while for him to get the idea. Eyes to the front please ….and concentrate. All to do with the centre of gravity mate.
Right, let’s ‘up the ante’ and try a triple act.
Another two recruits were brought in and after just a week or two they were performance ready. The newbies were both female (Lucy and Linda) , which might explain their remarkable aptitude.
Let’s have a bit of fun. Ladies, let’s set a good example and move exactly one metre away from Daniel please. That’s it…great.
Now on the count of three, all stand on one leg. ‘One, two three!’
Oh my goodness, it worked! Next trick….
One, two, three…‘Fly away’.
OK, let’s try some synchronized movement. You can take a break Daniel, I’m not at all sure you have the talent. Instead, we’ll have three little maids this time; Linda, Lucy and Penelope-Jane. Ready? Standing perfectly still….
Head tuck to the left!
Take a bow;
Wasn’t that something?? Bring on the Tokyo Olympics.
The diving was a bit of a disaster considering volunteer Lucy is a duck, but she tried hard;
Daniel….make like a football (surely he can cope with this) Deep head tuck required;
An ethereal finale from Lucy;
A nasty review from an individual who did not make the grade as a performer;
NEW ACT?…..Fellow photographer, Mark Eatwell, took the following image of a wood duck blowing ‘smoke’ rings in frosty air. If only I could incorporate this talented fellow within my circus.
It’s a pity I hadn’t started training performers a bit earlier. We could have performed in the Spiegaltent at the 2019 Sydney Festival. Never mind, let’s look towards the Royal Easter Show in 2021.
Hang on…we have some feisty youngsters on the scene. They look as if they have the right attitude. I foresee a junior troupe; could be a supporting act with a bit of direction!
Poor Daniel may be an exception, but wood ducks do have athletic ability in their genes. When they are barely a day old the babies have to make a flying leap to the ground from their nest hollow high in a tree. To watch them, CLICK HERE.