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This week, sadly, Mandy’s duck Duckman died.  This is how he will be remembered.

"DUCKMAN" 2002 ~ 2012~ My hearts best favourite~

Duckman came to live with us after a narrow escape on route to Penkridge market via his rescuer Brian the postman. He arrived in a tall cardboard box, he was black and tall an Indian Runner duck...I didn’t know about ducks or even want one, but I was soon to learn and Duckman was to teach me. I had a spotty dress on that day he came and had been sewing in the garden when he walked up to me and started trying to peck the spots off my dress. I went into the house ...he followed, I went upstairs......he followed and watched me. We soon realized he wasn’t a duck, he had imprinted on the man who had hatched him. He thought he was a man, hence "Duckman". He very quickly decided he wanted to live in the house. By day he would roam the garden bossing the chickens and rabbits about. His favourite place was by the garden gate where he would lurk waiting for potential victims, and if anyone came through the gate he would escort them up the garden path to the front door by holding onto their trouser leg or shoe laces. But by night he lay by the log burner which he used to guard viciously from us all, where he would unfold and lift up his wings so the heat warmed his little body, whilst he quietly quacked happily to himself, such a contented little noise...all was well in Duckman's world. Our dogs, even huge ex police german shepherd Joey all obeyed him. Even the guest foster dogs soon got the idea we saw many a dog run round the garden with Duckman on its back. Our friend Jon Goatman would look after him when we were away; he would ring us in Cornwall to say he had taken Duckman home with him for a sleepover. But most of all he loved my husband Alex, wherever he was in the garden he would hear Alex van drive past and he would stretch his neck up with his head to one side and listen, then run to the gate to his beloved Alex, attach himself to his trouser leg and trip him up all the way into the house. Such a little earnest thing with a HUGE personality he touched the hearts of many even though really he was quite hateful. Alex nicknamed him Satan because he was black and shiny with an evil glint in his beady little eye as he stared into your soul. Sometimes we just called him an evil little shit. I miss you Duckman, tugging at my pyjamas when I’m making porridge, and you want shredded lettuce and bread in a bowl of water, and your earnest little footsteps following wherever I go. We remember Duckman at Christmas in his white collar and tie being the bouncer at the gate, we miss you following us on the dog walks up the lane, or dancing on the top step quacking at the neighbours, you trapping a 5 year old Oscar in the shed who used to go out of the house with a dustbin lid as a shield, wrapping your neck around ours and cuddling in, flapping delighted in your pond. And how you had to have a stretch and flap your wings after a cuddle. We remember you Duckman in the garden eating slugs which glued your beak together, and how you would wait for worms but not the little red ones, nearly getting your head chopped off when Alex dug the garden, and how Ben dog made your head bleed when you attacked him trying to pinch his dog food. It’s a wonder you lived as long as you did because you took the piss every day. We will miss him forever.....and his footsteps following behind us.

Love you xxxxxxxxxxxxx Duckman xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx