A farewell to Anna the Human

June 19, 2019 • 11:00 am

Anna Mueller’s namesake, the hen Anna Mallard, is still with us, along with her eight healthy ducklings, but Human Anna is leaving tomorrow to take a job at Indiana University in Bloomington. I doubt that she’ll return for the rest of the summer, and so the ducks she tended will grow, and then depart, and she won’t see that. But I will keep her updated with doings at Botany Pond.

Anna was glad that we named the new mallard hen after her, and expressed her happiness on Twitter, as you see below. (Note that Twitter considers some of my duck pictures to be “sensitive content”, which is part of the site’s algorithmic stupidity. I think it comes from my having tweeted Jesus and Mo cartoons!)

So Anna came over to Botany Pond last Saturday, graduation day at the U of C, so we could give the ducks and ducklings their last supper from the two of us. She also brought organic strawberries and blueberries as a special treat for the waterfowl.

The ducks turned up their bills at the strawberries, but did go after the blueberries, though they had a hard time processing them. I think the fruits were too hard to squash with their bills. Here we see one of Katie’s teenaged ducklings going after a blueberry, trying to squash it, dropping it, dabbling it back up, and finally losing it in the pond (or so it seems to me):

Anna feeding the eight-duckling brood of her namesake:

It made both her and the ducks happy:

She didn’t neglect Katie’s brood, either. Here she feeds what she called the “Angry Teenagers”, because they got pissed off when we ran out of food at mealtime. You can see the expensive but uneaten strawberries on the bank.

And Anna took the obligatory selfies with me, Anna’s brood and Katie’s brood. I was unshaven and haggard after a long weekend of work, but I’ll be spiffy when I travel the day after writing this. Katie et al. are in the background:

Some graduates posing by Botany Pond (a favorite post-graduation picture spot), and there are some tiny ducklings among the water lilies that are invisible.

So farewell to Dr. Mueller, and best of luck in her new job! She was a superb duck farmer, and we will miss her. I only hope that she finds some new ducks to tend Bloomington.

Duck reports will be fewer in the next three weeks as I’ll be in Hawaii, but our two Duck Farmers promise to provide me with regular reports, and I’ll pass those on to you.

12 thoughts on “A farewell to Anna the Human

  1. Well, to be fair, duck is 75% of another bad word. Seventy-five percent is good for censorship, right?

    Good luck, Anna!!

  2. I have enjoyed your contribution to WEIT through your care for the delightful duck families. Want to wish you the best with the new positional at Indiana University.

    Do they have a duck pond?

  3. Fare WELL, Anna! It’s been ducky enjoying your cyber-presence. You shall be MISSED! Much luck in your new life chapter. Come back some day to Pond Zero!

  4. Au revoir, Anna. You helped three broods of ducklings survive and thrive through such a critical period of their lives.

    You will be missed. Best wishes to you in your further endeavors!

  5. ” I doubt that she’ll return for the rest of the summer, and so the ducks she tended will grow, and then depart, and she won’t see that.”

    Oh, she’ll see it, considering your ample DUCKumentary (I’m sorry. I’m so sorry) skills.

    Best of luck in your new job, Anna! I’m sure the duckies will miss you.

  6. Yes Anna. I think you definitely can use your extensive duck feeding experience on your CV.


  7. Wishing you all the best on your new adventure, Dr. Mueller!
    Thanks for helping with the ducks and ducklings, which brought much pleasure and joy to our lives.

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