The Duck with Its Own Name

El pato con nombre propio

My friend Celestino bought a duck for his daughters, and it quickly became the center of attention for everyone, even another member of the family. They named the duck Paco, an original choice. Paco played, ate, and grew. Soon, a corner of the living room turned into a full-fledged duck feeding area, and Paco, a powerful but clumsy duck, turned the whole house upside down.

What had been a joyful idea was now a torment. Celestino decided to take Paco to his friend the butcher—better that than abandoning him. When the butcher presented Paco stiff and featherless, Celestino became depressed. Now he was aware of what he had done; if his daughters saw this! Seeing Paco, once part of the family, hanging from a hook alongside the rest of his kind seemed like a betrayal.

Celestino pleaded with his friend to at least give Paco special treatment. For almost a year, Paco had been one of the family, loved by his daughters. After much thought on how they could differentiate him, they decided to place Paco prominently in the establishment, along with a sign that read, “Pato Paco, raised with the best food, has grown surrounded by love and great care.”

Perhaps it was a coincidence that Paco was the first sale of the day, and at a higher price than the rest of his kind.