An Afternoon With The Animals Of Penn State
Hello friends, it’s me, Penn State’s unofficial duck whisperer. My peers refer to me as “Jeff Corwin’s Protegé” based on my innate ability to communicate with campus wildlife. If you don’t recall, I had the pleasure of interviewing our very own mallard friends down by the Duck Pond at the Hintz Family Alumni Center last spring. As I walked by the peaceful sanctuary on the picturesque spring day, I needed to quench my thirst for knowledge. Naturally, I decided to ask some Penn State ducks their thoughts on the pressing issues facing us as a nation and as a society.
Well, I’m up to my usual shenanigans again, and almost a year later I decided to venture back to the Duck Pond and catch up with my feathery friends (and a tiny furry one) in the spirit of knowledge.
Onward State: Hello there, duck. Nice to see you again.
Duck: It’s Reginald, actually.
OS: Reginald, you speak! How have you been over the last year?
Reginald: Pretty swell, David. Flew down to Augusta for the winter months. Spent some time with the family, shit on a bunch of spectators. I even hit Ernie Els in the eye after he six-putted on one.
OS: Sounds like you’ve enjoyed yourself. It’s nice that you’re talking to me this time around!
Duck: *Ruffles feathers* *Stares blankly*
Well, I guess somethings never change.
As I made my rounds, I encountered a baby Shiba Inu named Koji. This dog is likely the cutest animal I’ve ever seen. I mean, look at him. He’s just a youthful puppy full of energy (likely because he’s yet to be neutered) and longing for a belly rub. I was struck by his cuteness, but I had a job to do. Being the hard-hitting journalist I am, I, along with my girlfriend Sara, decided to ask this little guy some questions.
OS: Your name appeared in the Panama Papers, what do you have to say in defense?
Koji: *Rolls around in the grass* *Bites my hand*
We fell victim to his puppy powers within seconds, and gave this Very Good Dog a belly rub. Resuming my quest, I spotted a group of male mallards from afar. Surely, they could verse me on the many happenings of the world!
It turns out I was wrong.
But, as I walked the perimeter of the pond, I saw a familiar face with an affinity for football. During my first round of interviews with the ducks of Penn State, our feathery friend here was the only one to give me an actual comprehensive answer. Naturally the topic was Christian Hackenberg, and with the NFL Draft only a day away, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get this duck’s opinion on one of the draft’s most intriguing players.
OS: The last time we spoke, you were pretty high on Christian Hackenberg, predicting he’d wind up a top-ten pick. That obviously isn’t the case now, but has your perception of him changed at all?
Duck: *Pecks for worm* Well Dave, it’s obvious his stock took a bit of a hit, but if you look at his body of work in his pro day paired with the months of preparation he put in, it’s obvious that the tools are all there. He just needs the right situation; coaching, system, and supporting cast all factor in, but if there’s one player who can excel, it’s him.
OS: I appreciate your take good duck. How are things with the ducklings? It seems the family’s grown since we last spoke.
Duck: The ducklings are simply fantastic. They grow up so quick. Even though they don’t quite know how to fly just yet, they’re already excited to blanket the We Are statue in fecal matter. I mean, it’s an open invitation! *Ruffles feathers*
Nothing like a cool glass of nature to brighten up your afternoon. I still had plenty of questions, but the ducks had other plans. If you ever grow curious about the world, ask a Penn State duck — they see all.
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Halloween fun returns to Penn State with the Arboretum’s annual Pumpkin Festival.
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