About four or five years ago my family adopted three Malard Ducks. We got them when they were the size of a baby’s fist, so small that their swimming pool was a gallon ice cream bucket. We named them Dawson, Isabelle, and Tipsy. At this point we didn’t know who was a girl and who was a boy, but it seems we guessed well because when they sprouted into teenagers Isabelle was the only brown, camo backed duck of the three. Tipsy grew out of his name quickly though. As a duckling he was duck-footed, go figure, so in his constant excitement he would spend his time sprinting, tripping, and getting back up. In a matter of weeks he became sure-footed and manly ;).
Unfortunately a couple of incidents occurred, leaving two of our lovely and spunky ducks dead. But guess who lived… Tipsy! Lo and behold the gimpy duck held strong through the trials of natural predators and fear.
After Tipsy’s feathers grew in fully we brought him to my dad’s school to set him free in the pond. We visited him for a couple weeks and the last day we saw him he was with a lady duck. Every spring there are usually some Mallards that visit the pond at my dad’s school, we’ll never know if it’s Tipsy, but I like to think I see him now and again :).