i think the thing about european investment in ducks is like. they’re your friends? almost always i see people say “donald was such a large part of my life” rather than “donald duck comics were such a large part of my life” as in he, personally, i knew him, we had some good times
like you’ve seen every aspect of their domestic daily lives and you’ve seen them at their best and at their most petty and cruel and they’ve just been a constant relatable presence in your life, like the lay-out for german pocket books is such that each starts off with a letter from a character to you, the reader, going “you won’t believe all the shit that went down this month, listen” before they summarise the book’s contents
cheesy old marvel or dc comics might have narration boxes refer to the protagonists as “our heroes” but cheesy old duck comics might refer to “our feathered friends” and i mean obviously it’s a whole different genre and format but it’s a whole different mode of personal engagement too. ducks might still be your heroes but more in the way your dad might be your hero. scrooge mcduck is your grandpa who gets grumpy when his breakfast eggs aren’t perfectly cooked and i think that’s a large part of the appeal
The male jacana chosen to parent the chicks, called the receiver, is a devoted father. He will construct a floating nest by uprooting aquatic plants and stamping or shoving them together to create a dense and tough platform. He may create several of these nests at several different sites before the female is satisfied with one. After she has laid the eggs, parenting falls almost entirely on him; the female may shade the eggs from strong sunlight, defend the nest from predators, or incubate the eggs if the male is having a hard time finding food, but otherwise she is uninvolved. Incubating the eggs is the male’s responsibility; he will even move the eggs to a different site if he feels the nest is unsafe.
After the chicks are born, they rarely leave their father’s side; he will guide them to food, keep them warm, and violently chase rivals away. The male African jacana (last three images) goes one step further; should danger present itself, the male can literally tuck his chicks under his wings and carry them away.
PROMPT: SIREN YURI IS A BIRD, AND BIRDS LAY EGGS. GO.
“Does he lay eggs?”
Victor’s boot snagged on the wooden deck. Stumbling, he whipped around to look at the powder monkey that addressed him. Young, short, blond and fiesty. Picked off a ship of the British navy. Had the makings of a good master gunner, despite the semi-permanent scowl on his face.
“Lay eggs. He’s a bird. Birds lay eggs.”
“Does he look like a bird?” Victor laughed good-naturedly.
“That’s because he isn’t a bird. He does not lay eggs. Understood?”
“If you say so.” The boy looked unconvinced. “He isn’t human either, captain.”
Suddenly, Victor was not so sure himself.
“Chris, do sirens lay eggs?”
The ship’s cook arched an eyebrow. “Are we expecting baby birds? Because that will make for extra mouths to feed, I’ll need to recalculate the rations.”
Victor’s eyes went wide.
“I’m joking. You have nothing to worry about, the males don’t…” Chris paused in consideration. “…As far as I know.”
Victor sat, straight-backed, on the edge of the bed. Behind him, Yuuri forwent a comb, threading his fingers through long silver strands. He dipped down, brushing his lips over Victor’s shoulders as he braided loosely so as not to let them tangle over the course of the night. Every evening, Yuuri waited excitedly to play with and care for Victor’s hair and he was never denied.
“Yuuri, I have a question for you. It’s a little strange, is that fine?”
The answer was another kiss pressed between his shoulder blades as Yuuri continued to fondly braid.
“Do you lay eggs?”
Yuuri’s fingers stilled and after a moment, Victor felt him tremble. He glanced back, seeing Yuuri’s shoulders shake as he laughed silently, his dark eyes sparkling in amused delight.
“Excuse me, you’re the first siren I’ve met. There’s still a lot I don’t know! I’ve heard that sirens sink every ship they meet, yet we’re still sailing.”
Yuuri tugged playfully on Victor’s half-finished braid and gestured for him to turn back, so that he could finish the task at hand. Victor swore that Yuuri was a little rougher and needier than usual that night in their bed.
“You’ll owe me.”
Yuuri tilted his head to the side in inquisition.
“I want a cat for the ship. It’ll keep mice out of the ship’s food stores. Victor keeps promising and forgetting. Make him get me one the next time we dock.”
With a smile and a nod, Yuuri held out his hands. Chris gave him three eggs.
In the morning, Victor awoke and pressed a kiss to a sleeping Yuuri’s forehead. The siren was nestled against him, hands bunched into fists against Victor’s chest. Behind him was dark. It took a moment to process that it was because Yuuri’s wings were out. They were folded against his back, black feather tips reaching down to his ankles. Victor had never seen Yuuri sleep with his wings on display before.
Victor rolled and heard the crack before he felt it. Shells, shattered. In horror, he looked down. From beneath his hip, thick yellow liquid leaked out onto the bedsheets. Victor lifted up and saw the eggs, smashed under his careless weight.
Leaping up, the choked noise he made wasn’t human. He tried to scoop shards of shell and yolk into his hands, dismayed to see it had already begun to seep into the mattress.
Yuuri stirred, lashes fluttering. His dark eyes took in Victor’s panicked expression and he glanced down.
“Yuuri, it’s okay, I can fix it! I didn’t see them, I didn’t realize. Oh, of course, this is like your nest, isn’t it. I didn’t know, I’m so sorry!” Victor cried, desperate. “They-… they weren’t fertilized, Yuuri! We can make more! Just tell me what to do, if you need me to keep them warm or sit on them, gently I mean, I can do it. Whatever you need!”
Yuuri laughed so hard he fell off the bed. A couple feathers poofed up into the air.
Victor did not get the joke, yolk dripping from between his fingers.
Victor sulked at the helm of the ship. A white persian slinked by, wrapping its comically fluffy tail around his leg as it went.