Duck finds paradise with school caretaker Watch
A paradise duck has fallen head over webbed feet for the Enner Glynn School caretaker – and she's not taking no for an answer. Jemima flew into the school more than a month ago and took up residence on the grounds, mainly anywhere caretaker Nigel Hands was. "When I arrive in the morning, she normally tries to find me somewhere and she honks her head off until she's found me. I give her a pat or two ... and then she hangs around most of the day."The loyal duck acts as Hands' security guard.
It's entertainment seeing Jemima in action.If anyone gets close to Hands, she lets out a tirade of honks before lowering her head to the ground and charging.
Hands said the children had learnt how to deal with the bullying."They are really getting good at standing still. She just charges toward them trying to frighten them off but they just stand still and it's fine."It's been a bit of a learning curve for the kids."Jemima's fatal attraction turned into a headache when she flew into a window to reach Hands."I was in the staff room and she went on to a roof looking into the staffroom. She launched herself at me and knocked herself out on the window and fell down the deck."That was the last straw for Hands.He said when she came to, she followed him into the shed where he picked her up and bundled her into a box. "At that stage I decided it was a bit much and I called Fish and Game."The local Fish and Game New Zealand employee lived in Motueka, so he offered to drop the troublesome duck 40km north west of Nelson, Hands said."She turned up the next day."
It's been about a month since she was given the cold shoulder, only to return.Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game officer Jacob Lucas took Jemima to his home and said he wasn't surprised it had returned to the school.Lucas said he had hoped the duck would make friends with his other resident waddlers but she "stared into blank space for about 30 seconds then just took off".
It had probably been hand raised and liked people, he said. There had been a number of other paradise ducks in the top of the south he had encountered, which were removed from premises only to find their way back. "It's hard to know what to do. You'd probably have to blind fold it and drive it to south Westland, spin it round in a circle 20 times and then release it and see how that goes. But, who's going to do that."Jemima will be forever etched into the school's history.School principal Isaac Day said she was a "classic"."She's very popular. We've got the kids writing about her, she featured in our school newsletter, she's becoming a bit of a celebrity around the school grounds."
He said she probably went somewhere else to get fed "because she does fly off now and then but she does come back here pretty quickly just to let us know she's around"."She's pretty needy."You've got to see her to believe her."Day and Hands said they hoped Jemima would find her place in the wild soon and live happily ever after with a male from her own species.
A nice bit of warm and fuzzy 'news' to detract from the usual doom and gloom
Thanks for posting this...you are right...its a nice and welcome change of pace in terms of a nice story!