The Duck Whisperer's New Attitude

I am the Duck Whisperer.

No, there have not been movies made of my life. I do not host a cable television show. I do not whisper to horses. I do not whisper to dogs.

I am the Duck Whisperer.

I approach the swamp. It is early morning. Rising mist shrouds the water. It is calm.

Brother Wind rests. All is serene. Therefore, am I.

"Thank you, Brother Wind," I murmur. "Shall Brother Mallard honor me today?"

I am the Duck Whisperer.

I scull along the placid shoreline, paddle silently swirling. Lily pads part at my passing.

They know me. I am the'¦

"Wham! Screech!"

There is the sound of riveted aluminum encountering an unseen cypress stump beneath the water's surface. Distant ducks take frenzied flight, testing sorely my self-control. I resist the urge to react as a mere mortal.

Onward paddles the Duck Whisperer.

Ah, here. A favorite spot. A puddler's paradise where the big flocks come to feed. I make a wraithlike approach. Brother Mallard shall not be alarmed when Brother Anchor slips silently into the depths. All is well. I am the'¦


The anchor slips from my hand. It sounds like a World War II depth charge. Circling greenheads break and scatter in the sky above me. Careful now. Deep breath. Count to 10. Softly chant a soothing mantra.

"Good, my son. Honorable maturity," breathes the Great Spirit of Waterfowling into my ear. "Proceed."

Onward I scull, quiet as the grave. The Duck Whisperer, one with his universe.

I approach a wooded slough. A blue heron watches from water's edge. He makes no sound, shows no fright. Such is my stealth. Turtles basking on logs ignore my passing.

Frolicking otters pay me no attention.

My keen instincts dictate unobtrusive placement of decoys, the learned positioning with my back to the rising sun. I tie my boat securely to a majestic cypress. I hunker silently in perfect, outline-breaking camouflage. My Brother Mallards return.

"Aha!" I whisper. "Tis not, dear Brethren, a placid blackwater breakfast awaiting you this morn. Nay, 'tis a load of blessed pelletized steel!"

I prepare myself. I blow my duck call. Hi-ball. Feeding chuckle. The sounds of Anas platyrhyncos unalarmed. My thumb presses the safety. It clicks softly.

On they come. Circling, circling. Now dropping, pitching through the cypress boughs.

The point of no return. The approach cannot now be aborted. I have them!

The head comes up. The gun is mounted. Brother Mallard, too late, realizes his fatal mistake. He passes. Firearm, eyes and fluid motion are one. I swing. I lead. I fire!

The moment, the primal, ethereal, spiritual experience, is complete. I close my eyes and breathe deeply. Then'¦

"Gaah! You stupid, worthless, flinching, swing-stopping, duck-missing !@#$%!" I yell loudly for every living creature in the county to hear.

Sorry, Great Spirit of Waterfowling. All of that whispering was giving me ulcers.

I am the Duck Screamer.

Now, please get me off this damn stump!

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