Walking through the Good Shepherd P-Patch last Saturday [April 4, 2009. I give the full date for future generations.] I came upon Blackie and Blondie.   Their three protector-handlers told me that these were not flying ducks but running ducks.  And certainly after a quick study it appeared that these elegant ducks with their long legs and long necks and generally lean compositions were not burdened by any thing – like big wings – that might inhibit running.  Although made for it, Blackie and Blondie still did not run around the P-Patch that Saturday afternoon, but neither did they waddle.  They kept near their tenders and were very graceful without exception – another quality of running ducks, I learned.  They stayed in the P-Patch watching for snails and worms but more often settling for grass as their tenders pulled up parsnips nearby.   Asking If I might take a portrait of their happy family in this peaceable kingdom, they allowed.  Asking further if they might write more revealing captions for these portraits, they agreed – that they might.  I have named the group of five portraits, “How To Carry Two Running Ducks Home” because that is where they were soon heading after our meeting.  They live near by the P-Patch.  I learned that running ducks are best carried backward.   But there is more to know about all this, like insights into a running duck’s intelligence – they are not as smart as chickens – which hopefully will be explained and the tenders named and so admired for their duck nurturing and handling.







  1. Hi Paul. These are Indian Runner ducks, and are great egg layers. They lay better than chickens and they eat slugs and snails by the pound. Chickens are no longer trendy in Seattle. All the cool people have runner ducks! I recommend ordering runner ducks from a hatchery in Oregon, Holderread’s Waterfowl (

    The people are Eric Sutherland, with the 2 ducks; Gene Hart, with the red bandana; and our lovely assistant, carrying two pitchforks, Ani Dietkus.

  2. Thanks Gene. I apologize for not getting the pictures up in the timely manner I indicated. Some questions if you have time. If a running runner ducks lays eggs will they roll along? Related question: how are they shaped? Are they as edible as chicken eggs or half so? Can they be colored and if so again what is there general shape – something thinner than a chicken egg like the ducks themselves? Do they like to swim in plastic pools or only natural ponds and puddles? Do pet stores have special food for Runner ducks? Heck do they have runner ducks? Will they prune a lawn for you or a parking strip? If someone – lets say hypothetically – is cool must they have a Runner duck? Or is it merely recommended. And is there anything peculiar or especially wrong with a regular duck?

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