Frank and I went jogging this evening. The sun was going down, the weather was lovely. There was an event going on at The Piper Palm House, which means the area in front of Piper Palm, sidewalk included, was blocked off. It was too late to take a real detour, so I decided to cut around through the grass, between the duck ponds.
Like so many of us living in metropolitan areas, city ducks have become accustomed to having a much smaller area for personal space. Sure, they'll run the other way if you start walking toward them, but their flight response is greatly delayed. This is maybe not such a good survival tactic for a duck.
As we detoured from the sidewalk into the grass, we passed several people sitting on a bench, holding two very large and excited dogs. The dogs whined and lunged at Frank. He shot back with something about their mothers and kept right on running.
By then, the ducks should have seen us coming. A sweaty biped with an awkward gait, accompanied by a monstrous beast, all nose and tongue and teeth, headed straight toward them. Their party consisted of at least 4 mallards and several hybrid spawn of domestic and mallard parents, most of whom had been lazing about in the grass, enjoying an afternoon by the pool. Too late, they sensed the apocalypse that was upon them. Without adequate momentum, they couldn't take off, and the water was just out of reach. The group of them zigzagged ahead of us, their big duck tooshies egging Frank into a frenzy. We burst into the center of pack, sending ducks scattering in every direction.
In an instant, Frank had snatched up one of the male mallards and had its entire head in his mouth. I glanced down to see the duck hanging from his jaws, Frank still pacing me like nothing out of the ordinary was happening, the duck relentlessly beating him with its wings in an effort to free itself.
With a quick snap of the leash, the duck was free, and we sprinted away.
Fortunately, the duck seemed fine.
But the dog, he is a Psychokiller. He laughed all the way home.