Written by Fr. Bernard McDermott
Once upon a time in the leafy suburbs of Solihull a small flock of ducks descended on the grounds of St Columban’s and disturbed the peace of a small group of nine Columban priests living quietly and enduring the lockdown like the rest of the population.
Their arrival created much excitement among the duck-lovers in the community and there was much discussion as to which ones were ducks and which ones were drakes. Why had they chosen us for their latest landing and where had they come from? Fom Russia maybe was one suggestion or deepest Africa possibly looking for a suitable place to lay their eggs?
The local lake in Solihull it turned out was their domecile and the shortage of food due to the lockdown with no food parcels on hand to eke out their diet, they decided to seek better prospects elsewhere. How many of them were on furlough or how many were self-employed and claiming the duck allowance from Solihull Council was difficult to establish.
As previously reported, the local police showed an undue interest in the arrival of the ducks of Solihull and charged the Columban community of duck kidnap. This was vehemently denied by the Columbans but the police maintained that the lack of ‘social distancing’ among the ducks and their frequent visits to St Columban’s proved that we…and the ducks were up to no good!!
We used the papal document ‘Laudato Si’ in our defence where Pope Francis defends the rights of ducks world-wide, and so the police ‘let us off’ with a warning and ordered us to report any further landings and not to encourage any further illecit relationships among the ducks.
This interference by the police angered the duck-lovers who vowed to protect the ducks at all cost and would be prepared to risk imprisonment if needs be. And so protected by face masks and full PPE to hide their identities, the duck lovers have carried out many early morning sorties to deliver food parcels and so ensure the survival of our ‘quacking’visitors.
Sadly in the past week there has been no sign of the ducks and we assume that they must have heard about Boris’s latest missive to ‘stay alert’ but you may go out and meet other ducks keeping the duck rules of course!’ We have just heard about the immigration bill that is going through parliament when Pretti Patel will endeavour to deport unwanted immigrants and we hope that the Solihull ducks have not heard of this and have decided to return to Russia or deepest Africa!
There is much crying and gnashing of teeth among the duck lovers and they are keeping a watchful eye to view any new sightings of the ducks and so welcome them home!
Fr. Bernard was ordained in April 1974 at St. Joseph’s in Sale. He now lived in Solihull and supports mission awareness and fundraising.