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Boys Will Be Boys

Duck On Duck Violence: Who Wins?

It's spring, or at least it feels like Spring, and the thoughts of the four drakes have turned to violence instead of love. There are only two female ducks, but the problem would be the same if there were four drakes and fifty females. In the spring drakes don't like each other.

So far one drake, who, until the weather turned warm, had been thinking only about a particularly subtle aspect of cosmic ray interferometry, has been brutally driven from the flock and now must stay at least twenty feet away from the others. Concerned, the management asked the ducks why they were acting like a bunch of Serbs who had found a Kosovar hiding in the corncrib. "Behavior," replied a female, "is merely a byproduct of biology." This from a group who have appointed themselves arbiters of moral questions among poultry. How does one deal with attitudes like that?

Fighting among the drakes, at least to this point, has consisted mostly of feather pulling. If they start drawing blood I will have to take some sort of action, I suppose. The question becomes, "What sort of action?" Should I favor natural selection and keep the most aggressive male, or should I favor civilization and keep the least aggressive male? Is this a decision management can make, or should it be referred to the Board of Trustees? Does anyone want a duck?

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