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Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-S50 camera
We stopped at The Peabody to check out the ducks. There they were in the fountain where you could sit and gawk at them for the price of a drink. The paper napkin that came with your drink explained:
"The Legend of the Ducks
How did the tradition of the
Ducks in The Peabody fountain begin?
Back in the 1930’s Frank Schutt, General Manager
of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned
from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men
had a little too much Tennessee sippin’ whiskey and
thought it would be funny to place some of their
live decoy ducks (it was legal then for hunters to use
live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain.
Three small English call ducks were selected as
“guinea pigs,” and the reaction was nothing short
of enthusiastic. Thus began a Peabody tradition
which was to become internationally famous."
The Peabody's web site further explains:
"The ducks are housed in the 'Duck Palace' on the hotel roof. Every day at 11 a.m., they are led by the Duckmaster down the elevator to the Italian travertine marble fountain in the Peabody Grand Lobby. A red carpet is unrolled and the ducks march through crowds of admiring spectators to the tune of John Philip Sousa's King Cotton March. The ceremony is reversed at 5 p.m., when the ducks retire for the evening to their palace on the roof of the hotel.
The Peabody's famed ambassadors are five Mallard ducks – one drake with his white collar and green head, and four hens with less colorful plumage. The ducks are raised by a local farmer and a friend of the hotel. Each team lives in the hotel for only three months before being retired from their Peabody duties and returned to the farm to live out the remainder of their days as wild ducks."
A female domestic servant carefully cleaned up the duck mess on the fountain, making sure none of it touched any part of her as she did so. She didn’t seem that enthusiastic about The Legend of the Ducks. I kept wondering what would happen if the Avian Flu ever paid a visit to Orlando.
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