If required to look at Twitter every day for professional purposes, it is important to pepper the feed with some nice to temper the bad. For me, that includes the account of beloved children’s book author Dick King-Smith, who died in 2011, but lives on through his family, who runs a very pleasant feed full of cute animals. That is how I met Long Boi, a duck that everyone seems to think is the correct length for a tall duck.
Long Boi lives on the campus of the University of York in England and stands at roughly 1 meter tall, which is around 3-and-a-half feet, if you believe this Reddit thread. According to this comprehensive article in Yahoo, Long Boi stands on his hind legs because he is part Indian Runner, a breed of duck that stands erect like a penguin instead of squat and lower to the ground, like a regular duck. Long Boi is also part mallard, which is why he looks like one of the wooden duck decoys Bunny MacDougal of Sex and the City favored so highly. He’s a tall-ass mallard, or a brightly-colored Indian Runner, depending on the way you look at it. And he is indeed tall. But not tall enough.
For starters, Long Boi’s official Instagram account disputes his reported height of 1 meter. Apparently, the duck is actually 77 centimeters tall, which translates to a little over 2 feet. That’s tall, but it’s not nearly as tall as he could be. I stan a short king along with everyone else, but I think if the duck is going to be defined by his length and not his sparkling personality, he’s gotta be much taller. Two and a half feet is a good height for an end table or, as I have learned in my search for a new sofa, the correct height for a couch that will fit in my living room. For a duck that stands on its legs as its only means of transport, besides flying when it wants to and swimming under the same circumstances, I want to be blown away by its height. I want Long Boi to swim out of the murky ponds that dot the University of York’s campus and to unfurl, really revealing the majesty of his length, which, I think, should be closer to 6 feet on the nose.
If nature is going to give me a duck that can do whatever these ducks are doing, below, then I want Long Boi and his brethren to be as tall as they can be, in order to be of use! This cluster of ducks is an intimidating presence, great for scaring off intruders as well as practicing Busby Berkeley-esque musical numbers in the courtyard of your stately home.
If Long Boi were taller, he’d be good for getting stuff off the top shelf in the pantry and would leave beautiful feathers around my apartment; I could collect the feathers and make bespoke feather dusters, plying my wares at the farmer’s market on Sundays, with Long Boi as my silent partner. Once we’d sold the dusters, Long Boi and I would walk back home, in companionable silence. We could make dinner—colcannon for me and a seaweed salad for him. It’s a nice life I see for Long Boi, a quiet life, but full of dignity and grace. But it only works if he is taller. Much taller. Earn the title.