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The Dangerous Culture of Ducks: Satirical or Sinister?

I am not sure any of you have noticed this, but for the past few decades, a sinister threat to human civilization has been growing right under our noses. Hiding under an air of cuteness and innocence, this threat has been growing steadily as more and more individual specimens tap into a growing united worldwide culture that is hell-bent on erasing humanity and taking all that we have built for ourselves. What is this threat?


Now before you mock me, hear me out. Currently, around 80 per cent of the human population remains ignorant to the feathered menace, but awareness is growing. The duck has been part of human culture for centuries, but only now are we seeing the pervasive nature and the danger that has been subtly inserted into our psyche that is now swelling to an event horizon of direct human-duck conflict. Our technology is hindered by our ignorance as their ranks swell worldwide. They are already on the move and we are blissfully unaware. Let me enlighten you with a little history.

Ducks often try to model themselves as gullible or foolish animals. In Native American mythology, ducks are often being tricked by the more “cunning” animals like coyote or fox. However, Native Americans also recognize the tremendous and unsung power of ducks, and depict the duck as the only animal strong enough to swim to the floor of the great waters to pull the earth up so that life may dwell upon it. Imagine that: Stupid yet possessing miraculous strength. Has that ever been a good combination? Has it ever brought anything but rampant destruction? To honor this imbalance and apparently to try to maintain the peace, more than one Native American tribe has a Duck Dance in their tribal dance traditions.

Ducks have always held a significant yet silent place in the human psyche. Depictions of ducks range from the seemingly harmless Daffy and Donald to more complicated images from several cultures around the world such as those seen here. Indeed, peoples the world over have ducks on their mind.

According to the website ‘dream moods’ (www.dreammoods.com), ducks symbolize a connection between the physical world and the spiritual realm. So right there you know ducks have some eerie connections. They represent being multi-faceted, as ducks can walk, swim, and fly – they are a triple threat! And to dream of a white duck means that you are being deceived, or set up like a “sitting duck.” Most of us probably misread that symbol and interpret a white duck to be similar to a white dove. Deceit! Our subconscious is trying to tell us something. We may see ducks as cute, goofy waterfowl that present no threat to our society, but in his treatise The Duck in History and Fable, author Rory MacLeod states right from the beginning that “throughout history, ducks have been fierce warriors [and] great scholars.” Great scholars! This proves that the caricature of the duck as “gullible or foolish” is misleading. Now we see that they are clever and fierce! Slowly, the true face of the duck is being exposed. MacLeod goes on to relate the tale of Sir Caraduck, an “upstart duck” that had the nerve to challenge King Arthur himself! In the ensuing melee, this single duck unhorsed THIRTY of Arthur’s famed Knights of the Roundtable, causing such a dreadful defeat that “Sir Lancelot… could never endure the presence of a duck thereafter.” That’s Lancelot, people! Vanquisher of the Black Knight, Seeker of the Holy Grail and a bunch of other stories that I can’t really remember. The point is, he was unnerved by the sheer brutality of the duck.


There is another example of duck danger recounted by MacLeod – the story of the Dread Viking Attack Ducks, who, in their “berserk rage [were] the epitome of avian pique.” The Attack Ducks proved such a threat at Harold Hardrada’s invasion of England in 1066 that English speakers to this day still prostrate themselves to the cry of “Duck!” Don’t believe me? Check it here.

Why do you think “migrating” ducks fly in V-formation? First of all, they’re not really migrating. They are flying reconnaissance missions. This is why they are frequently seen over strategic areas of human development. And the V formation, of course, represents the V-for-Victory symbol as a message to other ducks hiding on the grounds below. It is obviously a strategic military formation as it has been adopted by human warplanes.


So what do we know about ducks? Not much, really. We know that they form the Anatidae family of  birds, which includes not only ducks, but geese and swans as well. We are not really certain of the rankings of the duck militia, but we (that is, I) suspect that the swans are running the whole show… geese are the goon squad, bringing brute force to the table, and there is also a species of duck that goes by the sinister moniker “The Hell-Diver,” which has piercing, demonically red eyes.


Just look at that thing. Still think ducks are harmless, bumbling birds? The swans also have red eyes, and we all saw how the spirit of the evil Black Swan possessed the ballerina character portrayed by the lovely and kind-hearted Natalie Portman in the movie Black Swan, driving her crazy. Black swans are known in many cultures to represent “deep mysteries.” Damn it, folks, I can’t explain it all… I just know that ducks are downright sinister and they are up to something! Something big. We don’t know if they have an alliance of some sort with the freakish mammal platypus, but the fact that both critters sport a bill with a horny nail at the tip and the platypus also lays eggs despite being a mammal… suffice it to say, I suspect the platypus is a traitor mammal. I never trusted those weird beaver-duck hybrids in the first place, especially when I learned that the male sports a venomous spur on his hind legs! But the one sort of duck that I, myself, suspect to be the brains behind the whole operation is The Mallard.


Notice how the bill puts you at ease with the image of a cute yellow cartoon dog, while just above it, those black, soulless eyes are contemplating you with sinister intent. Definitely potential assassins.

Ducks like the swan and the mandarin are known for their fidelity, often mating for life. In Chinese and Korean cultures, the mandarin duck in particular represents wedding bliss. In Chinese, the word for mandarin duck is 鸳鸯, or yuan-yang,which represents both the male and female, respectively. This duck is commonly featured in weddings in both Chinese and Korean culture as they signify a happy and prosperous union. This indicates to me, however, that the duck is capable of a fierce loyalty – admirable in the romantic sense, but dangerous in the military sense.

Ducks and humans have a long history of interaction, but there is no denying the ducks have many motives for wanting to at least reduce the human population, if not wipe us out entirely. We are not only responsible for the destruction of the duck’s homelands around the world, but we are solely responsible for the total extinction of five species of duck, and, according to Wikipedia, subfossil remains show that we have caused numerous extinctions in prehistory.

Did you know that ducks are the only species of bird to be equipped with penises? Weird, corkscrew-shaped penises. Yeah. Think about that the next time you find yourself caught in a swarm of angry ducks, as happened recently to these poor, unsuspecting people in Thailand.

Imagine finding yourself suddenly overrun by the sheer numbers of your duck overlords. Now do you think ducks aren’t organized? And this was just a small practice drill in a remote part of the world. Imagine what will ensue when the ducks of the world unite and storm our cities and neighborhoods in a Hitchcockian frenzy of blood and feathers.

Indeed, throughout world cultures ducks are often mistaken for bumbling, awkward little water-faring birds that symbolize loyalty and grace… but if you look closely at these cultures – really dig into the symbolism of the waterfowl – we have always known, in some dark recess of our collective human consciousness, that ducks are shady. To see a flock of geese in your dreams can be an omen of misfortune. In Celtic lore, the goose is representative of loyalty, and just like the U.S. Marines, they never leave a fallen comrade behind. If, during a migration, a goose is injured, another goose will take over the leadership of the flock while one goose will stay with the wounded until he recovers or dies. This smacks of some intense militarization in the goose gaggles. Geese are also great navigators, an important role for any military, and they represent determination to the Celts. Swans in Celtic lore are said to represent Belanus, a sun god that was often invoked in times of war to ensure that the bloodiest battles were won. Indeed, the ducks are on the move the world over. They have infiltrated our cultures, and thereby our consciousness. Beware their treacherous duckery!

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(No, there never were really any “Viking attack ducks.” It just goes to show that you can support any idea with “facts” from around the internet. This article is satire, but the cultural significance of the duck is well recorded, as the rest of the examples from the article attest.)

DAMMIT! Now they’re after our women-folk! Do NOT say I didn’t warn you!




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Written by Matthew Leach

I am an American expat that has been living overseas since 2007. Most of that time has been spent in East Asia as I lived in Korea until 2012. Currently I reside in the Sultanate of Oman. I enjoy traveling, and I always bring a towel, but ultimately I hope to return home to Pittsburgh. So if you hear of any jobs...

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