Fans of “Fly Away Home” and “Make Way for Ducklings,” this one’s for you: The tale of Petunia the duck is quite likely the most touching story you’ll hear all day. It’s without a doubt the most touching duck-related tale you’ll hear in a long time.
For most of us, ducks are animals we engage with on a limited basis: At the park, around the lakeside. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to catch a school of ducklings one day while we’re walking down an otherwise unremarkable side street. For Chantel Grant, a Minnesota-based lawyer with a passion for rescuing wild ducks, it’s more serious than that. For a year, Grant has shared her home with the sassiest duck this world has ever seen. If you haven’t met Petunia Grant, the tail-wagging duck that’s stolen the Internet’s heart, now is the time to make her acquaintance.
A year ago, Chantel Grant was excited to see a Muscovy duck nest pop up in her own backyard. As someone with a passion for birds and wildlife, Grant couldn’t have been more excited at the prospect of seeing a bunch of little ones hatch and grow. Even more exciting was the fact that the mother duck was a local figure, gracing Grant and her husband with her presence for more than five years. But after the mother laid her eggs, something went wrong. Grant woke up one day to find the nest totally empty except for one single egg. What had happened? Had the mother taken her babies and moved to safer territory? Had something happened to the eggs themselves? Whatever the story was, Grant knew she couldn’t just leave the final duckling to go it alone. She had to help.
Like any good rescuer, Grant called the Wildlife Care Center to figure out what was next for the duckling. They told her that, as an invasive species, the duck would have to be euthanized. Hearing this, Grant did the only thing she could do: She took the duckling under her own wing to raise in her home as a pet. While skeptics might say that a duck can’t be trained to act like a house pet, even the most cynical of viewers has to admit that Petunia has come along quite well since she was rescued. She gets to fly around the house, cuddle on the couch, enjoy long baths, and cavort with the other birds of the household (including two large parrots, who Petunia loves and “harasses” in equal measure.) Best of all, she acts like a total house pet. When she hears her owners come home after work, she greets them with a serious shake of her tail feathers and bark-like quacking. She loves seeing her rescue mom walk through the door after work, and can’t wait to get in some quality cuddle time. She also loves being part of a home that truly accepts and loves her, even to the point of cleaning up after her!
Of course, not everyone is cut out for a life of duck ownership. According to Grant, posting on a Reddit thread about Petunia, “there’s more poop than I can fathom, so she’s lucky she’s cute!” Even though Petunia remains wild at heart, she’s settled into the Grant family without any complaints from either side. When she’s not flying through the house or wagging her tail with excitement, she’s hanging out in her princess castle or relaxing in her private bath. Nothing is too good for Petunia, and the Grant household knows it. If the Grant family hadn’t been there for Petunia, who knows what might have happened. As Chantel once said herself, “She’s most definitely a ‘lucky duck.’”