A canard

Son, my father once said to me*, one day ducks are going to discover how to bake bread for themselves. Then we’re done for.

Free of their dependence on humans for sustenance, they will rise up in an anatine revolution.

Duck, available under Creative Commons licence. Original photograph taken by Mondoagogo (Flickr name).

The same goes for farmyard animals and tennis.

It will start as an innocent pastoral pastime, but the animals will soon realise that by tying racquets to their hooves and trotters, eskimo-style, they need no longer fear the cattle grid. Orwell’s prophecy will come true. (The one in Animal Farm, I mean. Not the one in Keep the Aspidistra Flying.)

“Four legs good, two legs bad,” they’ll say. Except for the ducks. They’ll say: “Thank God. That’s the last time I chase after what looks like a piece of bread only to find it’s a cigarette end.”

*Not really. This is merely a rhetorical device to confer the illusion of wisdom on my theory.

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24 Responses to “A canard”

  1. Tom L Says:

    Cows can’t tie shoelaces (or racquet laces, for that matter). The key to humanity’s triumph over the bovine armies will be keeping stocks of Velcro behind cattle grids, thereby preventing their use in attaching racquets to hooves.

  2. Anthony Says:

    I worry more about the ananantine revolution.

  3. Tom L Says:

    Not without reason: imagine a world where pineapple was on every pizza.

  4. Simon Palgrave Says:

    anantine?? what on earth does that mean?

    google is no use. Page 2 of it simply redirects me to this page again.

  5. Tom L Says:

    Horror or horrors, we may have to resort to a pre-internet knowledge engine to divine the meaning of “anantine”.

  6. Tom L Says:

    Our learned Poulet Noir has made an splling erra, at least according to the Free Dictionary:

    An´a`tine
    a. 1. (Zool.) Of or pertaining to the ducks; ducklike.

    Thanks be there was no need to consult a real dictionary!

  7. pouletnoir Says:

    Oh calamity. I must make a correction immediately.

  8. Tom L Says:

    Now that this rift in the space-time continuum is patched, can we get back to important discussion about how to stop the ducks rising up?

  9. pouletnoir Says:

    Well, we need to enact a six-point non-proliferation treaty that limits knowledge sharing on:
    a) wheat
    b) grinding facilities
    c) oven building
    d) fire
    e) yeast
    f) white hats and overalls

  10. Tom L Says:

    g) bicarbonate of soda

  11. Simon Palgrave Says:

    I think WE should cease production of bread. Think of the positive message that would send out to the anatine community. As things stand, we run the risk of looking like hypocrites.

  12. pouletnoir Says:

    No, no, no. We must maintain ducks’ reliance on our bread. If we stop providing them with the stuff, that will only hasten their bakery project.

  13. Tom L Says:

    Hang on! I thought that your list of bakery products was a particularly poor, literalist gag made in response to my call to “stop the ducks rising up”.

    As it happens I agree with Simon: let’s see what their leaders are made of by cutting the crust supply. Being omnivores, we can make this gesture without hurting ourselves.

  14. pouletnoir Says:

    Sanctions will only radicalise the moderates. Buns for ducks, I say. Buns for ducks.

  15. Tom L Says:

    “My good friends this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time …”

  16. pouletnoir Says:

    This isn’t about appeasement, it’s about forced dependence.

  17. Tom L Says:

    Do you really believe that the ducks only want to use a bakery for civilian purposes?

  18. pouletnoir Says:

    We seem to be in agreement that ducks should be deprived of a bakery (the means of production) but differ in the respect of giving them bread. I believe that ducks, if given bread, will continue to be too apathetic to try to make their own.

  19. Tom L Says:

    I fear the poisonous impact on our own society and political system of creating a bakery-industrial complex. Eventually, our own way of life will depend entirely on the economics of keeping ducks in buns. Who will have the upper hand then, eh?

  20. pouletnoir Says:

    our own way of life will depend entirely on the economics of keeping ducks in buns

    You can’t keep a duck in a bun.

  21. Tom L Says:

    Why not? You can keep a chicken in a basket.

  22. pouletnoir Says:

    Chickens don’t eat wicker. The duck would eat its way out.

  23. Tom L Says:

    I give up. Don’t come running to us when your plan fails.

  24. Tom L Says:

    It’s too late, the ducks have already begnn to sieze capital.

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