Yarmouth family is Christmas quackers
PUBLISHED: 11:41 23 December 2011
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011
A CURIOUS duck has been waddling around and pecking tinsel as Christmas decorations go up at his terraced home in Great Yarmouth.
Fluffy the six-month-old Aylesbury duck lives with eight-year-old Kaci Wheeler, and her family in Sturdee Avenue.
The feathered family pet has been intrigued by the glittering tinsel, baubles and lights that have begun to appear around where he lives.
But as many turkeys and ducks will be sizzling in ovens on Christmas Day Fluffy’s owners have been careful to shelter him from some traditions.
Dad Darren Wheeler, 45, said: “People come round and say the duck is going to be for Christmas dinner, but I don’t let them say it in front of him.
“My main concern at Christmas time is that people keep saying ‘are you eating the duck.’
“We’re not going to eat him, and he should be in with us when we’re having our Christmas dinner.”
Mr Wheeler says Fluffy noticed the festive decorations going up, but he has not always grasped why they are there.
“He thinks tinsel is worms and hunts for them,” he explained. “He just goes nuts and runs around and tries to nick the tinsel.”
And the duck’s Christmas presents will be wrapped in tinsel instead of paper as he loves to attack the decorations so much.
Fluffy will also enjoy a special cracker full of duck pellets, cat pellets and snails, which are his favourites, on Christmas Day.
And although he will not be eating turkey, he will be tucking into a special festive dinner with the family before the Queen’s speech.
“I’m thinking about treating him to a bit of fish,” revealed Mr Wheeler.
His owners have tried to get Fluffy to look the part for Christmas, but Mr Wheeler says the duck was not best impressed by their efforts.
“We got him a little Santa hat and a scarf but he just went into reverse trying to get away from it,” he said.
While Fluffy is house-trained and enjoys nights in watching television with the family, he can still be intimidating to guests who are not familiar with him.
“The girls get scared when he comes in as he likes feet,” said Mr Wheeler. “But unless he vibrates and charges he’s not mad.
“He’s still easier to train than a dog.”
If the duck begins to get too overwhelmed with the excitement of Christmas Day, the Wheeler family has hatched a cunning plan to keep him occupied.
“He’s found his best friend in the mirror and he just sits there looking at himself and going ‘quack’ when we bring the mirror out,” laughed Mr Wheeler.
And young Kaci says she has enjoyed having Fluffy waddling about as the family gets ready for Christmas.
“I don’t mind having him in the house and I like him as a pet,” she said.
“I think it’s quite funny when he’s pecking at me.”
It will be the first time that she has celebrated Christmas with a large duck on the prowl, and she added: “I’m looking forward to Christmas this year.”