monkey animation The Uglier Truth
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Duck masquerading as pigeon being interviewed on a park bench

Duck Masquerades As Pigeon to Avoid Bird Flu Paranoia

    An innocuous sneeze could have cost a duck - who wished to remain nameless - his life. In, what seems like one of those," it couldn't happen here" stories the persecuted fowl has been living as a pigeon on Boston Common for nearly six months. From a secluded park bench the duck told a harrowing story of fear, persecution and the ugly side of human nature.
    "I came here to escape this sort of thing," he told us through an interpreter. "But now I find the same damn thing; the same narrow-minded bigotry!"
The beleaguered fowl in happier times - 1996     When ask how the ordeal began the avian told us that he came here from Peking China to visit relatives in Framingham Massachusetts and escape the paranoia in Asia. After seeing pictures of ducks, geese and other unidentified fowl unceremoniously rounded up, stuffed into degrading and uncomfortable plastic bags and killed, his family suggested he come here. While dining in a pond on Boston Common, the duck inadvertently sneezed, setting off a panic among those people who had, moments before, been feeding the ducks benevolently.
    "It was horrible," he said, barely able to contain his involuntary shudders. "I saw ducks and geese being beaten, harassed and insulted by a wild-eyed mob reminiscent of a Frankenstein movie. I was only able to escape certain death by hiding among a flock of pigeons that were roosting beneath a tree," he said before collapsing into tears.
    After composing himself he continued, "I thought America would be different; a place where a duck could be a duck. After all," he added. "I walk like a duck and quack like a duck!"
    When asked to speculate on what could engender such panic from something as innocent as a sneeze he replied, "Ignorance and the media. Most people don't know that a duck can sneeze," he said with a sympathetic shake of his head. "We are just not overly demonstrative or melodramatic about it. But I don't blame them for their ignorance, I blame them for not looking beyond the sneeze to ask why. I also blame the media for sensationalizing the 'bird flu' story with no thought as to what it would do to ducks and birds from all walks of life."
    When asked how long he would have to keep up the charade he responded, "As long as it takes; it's not up to me. This is my life," he continued as looked this reporter square in the eye. "It's up to you."

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