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I recently spent a week at the fabulous Peabody Hotel in Orlando. It was my first time in Florida and I thought the sensation of living on a film set would be the best part. THere were lots of good parts. Everything I’d been told about Floridians turned out to be true – their friendliness, their hospitality, their food – but the thing that struck most was not the people. It was the ducks.

The Peabody had a peculiar tradition. Every morning a small line of ‘royal’ Peabody ducks is led on a red carpet, from their ‘Royal Duch Palace on the Recreational level to the marble fountain in the Atrium, where they spend the day frolicking (very sedately, I have to say). A housemaid checks the fountain ledge for droppings lest offensive effluence mar the sight. At five, the Duck Master reappears and the ceremony is reversed.

I heard him give a talk. It was very passionate and afterwards I had to see for myself.

Everything was just as he described it.

There was simply nothing more to say.

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