So, roughly around the time The Masters was wrapping up last weekend, another Tradition Unlike Any other was getting underway here in your nation’s capital. The National Geographic building once again played host to a duck and her ten adorable ducklings.
While newbies such as myself were tickled pink by the whole development, hard-line veterans, like my buddy Mav (who’s worked there for ten years) were quick to point out that this has been going on for many years now. And the Nat Geo grounds crew was just as quick to bring out tiny “ramps” to help the ducklings get in and out of the ponds and gardens in our little courtyard out front.
They wasted no time in becoming minor celebrities. Every time you entered or left the building, you knew exactly where they were based on the positioning/body language of the 10-20 people invariably watching them. It had a paparazzi feel to it, as though Lindsay Lohan were constantly shopping out there.
Two news crews came by to cover the story. Mini-barriers were erected. Signs were put up. And through it all, those fucking ducklings remained ten of the cutest things ever.
These pictures were taken on my phone (as were, I would guess, thousands of others). WordPress does not allow me to embed video for free, but there are YouTube videos here and here if you’d like to see the little guys in action (the second link shows them adorably negotiating a precipitous two-foot marble slope).
But then, tragedy may or may not have struck. When I walked in to work this Monday, the number of ducklings had plummeted to five. Nat Geo employees — myself included — were asking one another if they knew anything (I have yet to learn any news). And then again, this morning, the ducklings numbered only four. And while you may be quick to suggest this was Snoots’ doing (and he would most certainly kill a duckling for sport), I will remind you that I live 1.75 miles away, and there’s no way Snoots would ever walk that far.