V: Duck

The great big history of the little rubber duck.

quintidi, the 5th of Prairial, Year CCXXXI
A mallard duck. Photo by Ravi Singh / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is quintidi, the 5th of Prairial, Year CCXXXI. We celebrate le canard, a waterfowl that comes in various shiny colors for the males.

The only duck that truly quacks is the female mallard. The male mallard will make a reedy hoot, sort of like the noise you can make when humming and whistling at the same time. Other duck species have their own distinctive calls, just like species of song birds differentiate their calls. The reason the mallard call is synonymous with duck noises is due to their extremely widespread habitat, ranging across both hemispheres and living on all continents but Antarctica.

The rubber duckie was originally intended as a chew toy, not a bath toy. This is because the poor little guys sank like stones.

The toy was invented by the Goodyear company, decades after founder Charles Goodyear had passed away but using his important invention of adding sulfur to rubber compounds to create a "vulcanized" rubber that wouldn't deteriorate when wet. To advertise this capability, what better than a mold of an aquatic animal?