One duck’s story

My name is Juju, and this is my story.

So there I was, minding my own bizness, when one day, Mama disappeared. Confused, I wandered off and even dodged cars in the middle of the road. I got chased by a hawk. It sucked.

Then, some complete strangers adopted me. It was definitely nap time.


The strangers gave me a sweet pad—apparently this crib belonged to some Babe named "Barbie". Whatevs—it was better than sleeping on the floor.


Of course, when I got older, my folks insisted I wear a diaper inside the house. (Where do you get a diaper for a duck? Duh.) This one is much too big for me—but eventually I grew up so that you couldn’t even see that I was wearing it.


Even when I was a toddler, I always spotted danger right away. No hawks or foxes for me.


Here’s me with mah peeps. My "Dad" was going to call me "l’Orange". Nice.


Learning to fly was sweet. Yeah, so I had problems getting down from the roof. It happens to lots of ducks.


Eventually, I moved outside of the house into like, nature and stuff. Then I sent these photos into C.O. [wings tap on keyboard]

The End.


Nice work, Juju and Kee H. 😉



  1. *ahem*


    Duck + diaper= awwwwwwww.

    Duck in Barbie crib= Too cute for words.


    That is all.

  2. Such a sweet ducky! How Joey and Chandler of you.

  3. *That* is a story to die for. Just ducky.

  4. I think this one has to win the 2006 C.O. Photo Essay of the Year award, right?

    Great story, great pictures, great people who save li’l orphan duckies.

  5. ShelleyTambo says:

    I’ve never felt one way or the other about fowl, but this is just too cute…and sweet…and just…awwwwww.

  6. I love how when he (she? How do you tell on a aduck?) stands, his feet overlap. Like he’s shy. Or charmingly awkward.

  7. can ducks smile? cause i swear i see a smile on pics 5 and down. that is one happy duck!!!

  8. are you kidding me with that diaper? My head exploded.

  9. Juju McDuckersons, welcome to C.O! Your people parents must be so proud of you! That story is just ducky!

  10. AuntieMame says:

    Aww, what a pretty duck! And that smug smile. Hee!

  11. Love the didies! Such a sweet heinie.

  12. L’Orange as in orange sauce right? *whistles innocently and reminds self i have eaten lunch*

  13. Look, little duckie, I know you’re confused, because you grew up in a mixed species home. But please, please, in the name of all that’s holy, stay away from that beaver. He’s no good for you!

  14. Wow, wow, wow.

  15. GD! That is knee-weakening!

  16. Is today bill day?

  17. WHY A DUCK? (hee hee… Marx Bros) —

    Well, this is one faboo story! SO glad they saved him and he’s all happy ‘n healthy!

    BTW, if you like Pelicans, we could use some help at the rehab center:

  18. Peg of Tilling says:

    Scrolldown alert: “My ‘dad’ was going to call me ‘L’Orange'” (scroll scroll scroll) The DUCK is standing on a PLATE! Bwahahaha!

    I think our Juju here is a girl mallard. One day she will find a handsome prince with a shiny dark green head.

  19. It’s a girl duck, you can tell from the colors.

  20. Oh, I see Peg beat me to it.. 🙂

  21. Duck diapers! But of course! I think I may have to get cat diapers for my 18 year old cat

  22. I like how happy the duckie looks in the last picture. 🙂

  23. Awesome!! Obvy very contented duck- what a smile!

    “L’Orange” reminds me of “Quoth” the raven in Discworld books…

  24. I understand ducks make great pets — if you can manage to raise them. Every so often my family has found a lost baby wood duck and tried to do the right thing, but whether it’s kept or brought to a pond, it dies. Congratulations to Juju’s parents for doing it right!

  25. I wonder if my dog would be okay if I ran out and got a pet duck today?

  26. I think my brain is leaking out of my ears now. Thanks, CO.

  27. That’s so awesome. I love duckies!

  28. The cuteness is so overpowering I can’t even begin to explain. I’m all a-flutter!!!

  29. Best. Post. Ever.

  30. This baby duck is so cute that if his story were reprinted on leaflets and dropped over war zones, there would be instant peace.

  31. I can see it now: Operation Darfur Duck Drop.

  32. i think im going to get the book from the web sit on how to raise a duck… then buy a house. i dont think my apartments would let me keep a duck

  33. What a prosh duck breast he has! He’s positively regal.

  34. Such a handsome Mallard.

  35. Duck diaper = total redonk.

    I love ducks. They always look like they know something you don’t.

  36. *melts*

    Awwww… all the pics are so cute and the story is so heartwarming! As others have noted, it’s truly a recipe for instant world peace!

  37. OH FOR PEEP’S SAKE… did you check out ??
    1) It’s totally for real (I’m not making this up)
    2) They have a riDUCKulous toll-free number you must see
    3) “Santa Claws”
    4) The “mouse-over events” for the Home, Store, Your Account, etc. buttons at the top are SPLATS.

  38. NebraskaErin says:

    But…where’s the chick?!

    Cute little McDuckersons.

    Oh, and I GOT A NEW JOB! With a 60% pay increase!!

    Carry on.

  39. novabubble says:

    We have often had mallards in our backyard. They would make the rounds of the village, checking out who put corn out for them every day. Sweet and interesting to watch.

  40. cristinutria says:

    Oh my goodness, how adorable! This darling story brought tears to my eyes. I agree with whoever it was nominated Meg for a Nobel Peace Prize for bringing smiles and cuteness to everyone in one sweet site.

    P.S. Doesn’t JuJu look like she’s smiling? Lucky ducky!

  41. Congrats, NE Erin. Cat Complex at the zoo? (…if only)

  42. I’ve been a fan of CO for some time now, and although most pictures make me go ahhh, how cute this one defies words. “yous good people” 🙂

  43. NebraskaErin says:

    If only, Theo. If only.

  44. I want a new duck
    Not a swan or a goose
    Just a drake I can dress real cute
    Think I’m gonna name him Bruce

    (Couldn’t resist.)

  45. Great, now I want a duck, too! Like I need more pets. I could become a nonprofit as it is.

    A duck wearing a diaper…who’dda thought?

    Too much…luv the photo story!

  46. “AFLAC!!!!”
    Had to say it 😉

    This is a totally awesome story and it restores my faith in humankind! Lucky duck!

  47. One of the absolute best posts/pictures/stories since I found CO!!

    God, what don’t I love about this? L’Orange? Hee-hee!! ;D

    Thanks so much to whoever shared this with us.

  48. THANK GOODNESS!!! I’ve always wanted to have ducks, but they’re so damn messy. I would completely be willing to wash diapers. I’ve bookmarked for when I have a house (where my future goats and alpacas will be residing too).

    Of course, I’ll have to find a vet to treat them all. We tried to save a baby duck when I was younger. Watching that little guy try to puke after he feasted on mini-slugs under the shed–it was not pleasant…

  49. Theo — that duckdiaper site is cuuute, but is duck poop really green?? Eeuwww.

  50. Duck poop can indeed be green, depends on what they’ve been eating.

    That duckdiaper site is da bomb (splat!). I should buy Barney (parents’ parakeet) a li’l costume. Poor Barn will wish he were back hanging with the cows and not cooped up with the crazy humans.

  51. Duck BARF can be green too. (and thank you so much, Maggie, for bringing back THAT memory.)


  52. This so needs to be a movie.

  53. Now THAT is a GREAT story and entry. Cute pictures, too!

  54. “Duck Barf” would be a good name for a band 😉

  55. Hey,
    Da peeps have got a peep!

  56. If you had a duck in the house, it would need a diaper, this I absolutely guarantee. Once when I was taking a duck out of a rehab cage so I could clean the cage, the damned bird let go when it was right over my lap. So much for stopping at the market on the way home….

    Once there was an oil spill, and the rehab center was filled with ducks, even in the office. They can be pretty noisy in their personal habits, and someone got a call like this:
    “Hi, I was wondering if you could come pick up this little bird–“
    “Well, jeez! Don’t come pick it up! You don’t have to be rude!”
    “No, no, it was the duck, honest….”

  57. I love this story.

  58. aaaaaaaaaaawwwwww.

  59. WickedWendy says:

    Awww!!!! How sweet!!!

  60. Thalia: Cool.

  61. miss_thing says:

    I love this website so much. I come home in a towering, near homicidal rage, drink some wine, look at Cute Overload, and ahhhhh….all better. Meg, you are a true humanitarian! Oh, and je t’adore Monsieur L’orange!

  62. That first pic is just to prosh for words. Little duck bill!!!

  63. SHE is very cute 🙂

  64. Zap, I had no idea they would be so loud.

    Keep up the good works!

  65. Duck!!! I had a pet baby duckling once, and I was going to raise him, but my hamster killed him. 😦 I’m not kidding.

  66. What a precious story! Love the diaper. And who woulda thunk there would be a website dedicated to duck diapers? LOL

  67. The Guy Over There says:

    Do you know what this reminds me of?

    Any of you remember America’s Funniest Home Videos? There was one episode where the winner had this one mallard and he was so attached to his owner that if they drove off, the ducky would actually fly along with them! It was soooooo cool and made me soooooo jealous.

  68. I volunteer at a wildlife rehab center (well, in the education area, not the actula “Oh look that bird’s wing is torn up” hospital), and one day my sister came in and ran into a fellow carrying a small, fuzzy, yellow duck. He (the man) looked pretty melancholy. He asked if my sister could take the duck to the hosp. because he hadn’t the heart to do it, knowing that he couldn’t keep a pet duck and that a wildlife rehab center couldn’t rehab a domestic animal and would have to put the duck down. (The duck had been found being attacked by the wild ducks at a local park.) My sister said that our family has kept chickens and probably could take a duck. He was relieved. My sister also mentioned animal shelters will take domestic ducks 😉 So she came home with a duck. Everyone who met the duck adored him, but he had been raised in his early days by people, and believed he belonged inside with people. He wouldn’t stay outside. He followed us about. He quacked. A lot. He pooped everywhere, so we had to follow him with paper towels and disinfectant. We couldn’t let him imprint on humans anymore if we were going to ever leave the house again (he cried when he couldn’t see people). Thankfully, my other sister’s boyfriend had some young ducks, and he was willing to take the little guy. The little guy turned out okay, survived an oppossum attack, and now is named Maude and lays eggs… Must be a girl then. For a while we seriously considered getting a duck diaper, but we’re too busy to take a duck everywhere we go. Oh well.

    Anyway, my ultimate point is that you shouldn’t raise a duck and try to release it unless you raise it as a wild duck. Sadly this duck probably won’t be able to make it without human help.

    Wow, my story’s moral is a downer. Sorry 😦

  69. AWWWWWWWWW!!!! What a cute duck! (LOVE the third from last pic with him on the plate!!!) And what a lovely story! This really made my weekend *sniff, sniff*

    BTW, when I was visiting the US about 18 years ago (I was not yet 3) I was nipped by a goose in some park in California. My mom says I was dead terrified of goosies for a while after. LOL.

  70. That is the BEST! I’ve always wanted to adopt a duck (and name him Norm). I loved this story and pictures!!

  71. Whoa, it’s so cute I think I’m going to barf rainbows and crap out kittens. Lovely story by the way :3

  72. I should sue cuteoverload.

    Really now, after Winston eating the mashed potatoes and little Juju ducky boo-boo in a toy crib and with a diaper….I think my brain just….


  73. Hi, this is Juju’s “Dad”.

    R. Moore is quite right. “Rescuing” a wild duckling is generally a bad idea. Furthermore it’s illegal. Migratory birds are protected under federal law, and only licensed rehabilitators are allowed to care for them. I highly recommend reading the following document that describes what to do if you find a baby bird.

    I Found a Baby Bird. Now What? at

    But the general rule of thumb is, “leave it alone”.

    I firmly believe that if we’d left her where we found her (well, not in the middle of the road, but by the lake) she wouldn’t have made it. Likely the hawk would have gotten her. As a more practical friend said to me–we just deprived a baby hawk of its supper. We did realize though, that we might be taking on a multi-year commitment, and you should never adopt *any* pet unless you are willing to make that kind of lifetime commitment. And I had helped raise a pet Peking duck when I was a kid, so I had a rough idea of what was necessary. That said, we didn’t know that this whole “imprinting” thing doesn’t just apply to the first thing they see and nothing more. Nor, when we found her, did we know what the laws were about wild ducks. By the time I spoke to a wildlife expert a few days later, Juju was hooked on humans. For the rest of the summer she would complain bitterly if one of her “parents” wasn’t within ten or twelve feet of her. She only outgrew that (and started sleeping outdoors instead of in our bedroom) a few weeks before she left. There aren’t a lot of places that want to take care of a human-imprinted duck for eight years or so–wildlife rehabilitators have to focus what few resources they have. So we took our chances (and hers). We did spend a lot of time with her outside, and we helped her find her own food (she loved looking for worms under the woodpile). Hopefully it was enough.

    Meg did a wonderful job of editing Juju’s story, but (in keeping with Cute Overload’s upbeat motif) she did leave out one piece about Juju’s return to the wild. It wasn’t entirely voluntary. She was attacked by a hawk in our backyard. She made it away safely, but she never returned. One of the things I learned over our summer with Juju is that ducks are very conservative. If someone mistreated her accidentally (try not stepping on a duck that’s chasing you around the house!), or she had a bad experience in a particular place, she didn’t tend to give second chances. From then on she’d simply stay away from any possibility of repeating the risk. While I had made her a nice pond, she really didn’t have a safe place to hide from hawks. So I’m not surprised that she didn’t return, but we all hope she’s doing okay.

    Someone asked how you tell the sex of a baby duck. The answer is; you don’t for several months. Also, a few notes for anyone who does feel inspired to keep a duck as a pet (do some Google searches, there are quite a few people who do, and they are great for people who have allergies to dogs and cats). First of all, you probably don’t want to start with a Mallard. Some of the more domesticated varieties are better behaved. Although Juju did quite well, she certainly didn’t hesitate to let you know when she was annoyed–toes were a favorite target. Secondly, if you’re going the indoor route, expect to change diapers around three to four times a day (times the lifetime of the duck!). They aren’t particularly smelly unless she’s been eating a lot of worms, and definitely not as bad as most animals, but still, it’s a diaper. Also, check your town ordinances. Most places consider ducks livestock, which may note be allowed in residential areas. I also recommend the site and the book “Duck! There’s a Goose in the House!”. It’s a fun read even if you don’t have a duck.

    Finally, on an upbeat note. You can wander down a town street (or through a crowded music festival, as we did when Juju was only a few weeks old) with a baby duck in your arms, and nobody will notice. People tend not to see what they don’t expect. But if you put the duck down and let it waddle after you… you’ll draw a huge crowd in no time! So as Bert said to Ernie, “Put down the ducky!”

    P.S. The kids want us to get another duck–this time to keep.

  74. 😥

    Be careful out there, Juju!

  75. Oh, Kee, that was wonderful of you. I too hope Juju’s okay!

  76. How wonderful! Thanks for the update, go JuJu!!!!!

  77. That is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard.

    You guys are truly wonderful for giving little JuJu such a chance.

  78. TwinklyTerrapin says:

    From the looks of that last picture, JuJu seems to have decided that she’s really a parrot. I’m guessing that she flew off to join Captain Jack Sparrow and crew.

  79. Oh my, those are some cute ducks!

  80. awwwwwwww that’s what our duckies looked like as babes, except for we didn’t put diapers on them. and that’s pretty much what they look like now.

    ( ‘)=

  81. We got 5 ducks, and two were rowans, 2 peekings, and 1 indian kind of duck that stands up tall instead of squating. well, the peeking ducks are white, so we named one Peek, and the other…aflack!! one of my middle names is ruadhan (pronounced rowan) so we named one of the rowans Ruadhan and the other Daisy (donald duck’s girlfriend). the indian duck we named squaw which is indian for wife…we have recently found out that squaw is a male.anyway, our 5 ducks live outside and make up a large ruckus whenever we come near. unfortunately, ducks will lay down in the snow and actually freeze to the ground in the winter, and they are unable to get up. i know many people who’ve had that happen to their ducks, and it makes me sad…we put our ducks in the dog kennel with lots of hay and corn, and they still make a ruckus when you come near. you’d think they’d be grateful that we feed them everyday, but NOOOO. also at our house is a notapond, which is smaller than a pond and dries up a lot. well, our ducks never noticed that was there, so we shepperded them there, where they were quite content. i swear they could tell we couldn’t get them, so they started to provoke us ‘hehe, humans can’t come in the water quack! quack!QUACK!!!’ then they’d all sit in a little group out in the middle. spontaneously, they’d all just suddenly zoom off into opposite directions, i guess someone farted or something… my parents are always teasing me and saying they’re just fattening the ducks so we can eat them, lol. well, that’s my ducky story ( ‘ )=

  82. P.S. the rowans look almost like little JuJu there



  84. Ha! What a cute little girl! Good thing they have the duck diapers, I know she must get messy. That’s pretty cool. Good on those people for saving the duck. 🙂

  85. It’s a wild world Juju! Take care 🙂

  86. compy-saur! says:

    My sisters and I raised three duckmom-less duck children. Their names were Zephyr, KipThorne, and Petri. My duck (Kip) was mute. Never made a quack in his whoooole life. When they got older, we brought them to my best friend’s ranch, which has a very very large pond that attracts wild ducks. Zephyr and Petri are still alive (it’s been a few years), but poor Kip disappeared.

    They swam in an ice cooler when we first got them. Then a little swimming pool. They loved lettuce and cat food (ate it whenever they encountered it). When they were duck children, they had those puffy little chests like duck children have, and feet that were ridiculously large. Too cute. I loved them very much.

    My younger sister knew how to make them fall asleep. She would grab them gently, slowly flip them onto their backs as they lay in her lap, and then stroke their tummies. At first they would enjoy it, and in no time… they were out cold.

    Duck powah!

  87. I thought the first picture was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen – and then I saw the second picture. <3

  88. ka9q's wife says:

    i love this Photo essay but am sad to learn that Juju was scared off by a hawk. I like ducks but never considered that a duck could be a pet. hmmmm. I wonder how the cats would do with a duck brother or sister.

  89. Im’ in love with this story. I love duckies. I have three right now. The’re pretty messy, but i love them so much that it doesn’t bother me at all.

    This is such a lovely story. <3