My mother taught me to love myself beyond the exterior. That indefinable thing called inner beauty. I get that I’m attractive in the conventional sense. But I try to stay humble. Everywhere I go, people stare, though. And they keep staring. “He’s like an oil painting,” they say. “How?” I know.

I mean, I’ve known for a long time. I’m a hot bird. Not complaining. (Why would I?). But the way you guys are talking about me, it’s like you don’t know your own beauty? Look in the mirror. You’re beautiful, too.

This is how the New York Times wrote about me (and I’m slightly embarrassed to even mention it):

On the crescent-shaped pond in the southeast corner of Central Park, a spectacularly colorful duck floats on the surface with an air of majesty.

His head looks like a punk rocker’s multicolored mohawk. Beneath his beady black eyes, fringed orange feathers splay across his dark purple chest. His bill is colored a striking hot pink and sits under an emerald green forehead.

The male Mandarin duck, native to East Asia, should not be in the middle of Manhattan. And yet, against all odds, he is here. And he is dazzling.

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Wow lol... First of all, I don’t like punk rock. Second, I resent my eyes being described as beady. I do appreciate you appreciating my radiance. But I also want you to see your own. New York Times, you’re beautiful. Hey Sarah, you’re beautiful. Donnie, you’re beautiful. Sean, you’re beautiful.

It’s true that I’m here against all odds. It’s funny because when I was younger, I was more of... how do you guys say... ugly for a duck... an ugly duckling. The Glow Up was real, which goes to show you what time and growth can do for you.

Okay. Now. As for how I got here... well, it’s kind of a long story. Actually, it’s kind of a short story. Here’s the story: I saw some water, I like water, I got in it... It felt good... I stayed there... I really can’t explain it any more than that. I think I’ll be here for awhile so you can keep admiring. And then I might go somewhere else, who knows. Wherever the wind takes me. I just hope to be an inspiration. I wanna thank you. But first, I wanna thank God and also my mom and.