The flightless ducks of India

Aug 27, 2017

I’ve always liked ducks and, yes, I’m afraid I also like to eat them as well, particularly Peking Duck. On the canals and waterway of Kerala there are numerous duck farms. I was walking down a serene canal near our host Joseph’s place and turned the corner to see hundreds of ducks in and out of the water and more heading our way in the distance.

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It turns out that these are duck farms and according to Joseph the ducks learn essential life skills at an early age, including where to congregate when it’s time to be shipped for slaughter. I didn’t get this. I mean, if I was a duck I’d be flying off into the never never if someone was driving me to eventually become part of a Chinese banquet.

So, why didn’t they fly off? Had their wings been clipped? I couldn’t find out. I asked the boatmen on the houseboat but I’m not sure they understood what I was on about. Eventually we met up with a very nice man who carved religious wooden sculptures for churches all over the world. He also spoke perfect English.

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“You know the ducks…” I began. He had obviously not been expecting a duck question. Mother Mary and baby Jesus maybe, but not ducks.

Anyway, according to him these ducks can’t fly. I’m not sure I believe him. After all, his specialty was religious icons not waterfowl. So, if anyone can shed further light on the duck dilemma it would be much appreciated.

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