An 11-week-old duckling shunned by its family has taken such a shine to his new ‘dad’ it follows him everywhere – including the PUB.
Barrie Hayman, 65, cuts an unusual figure in his home town as devoted duck Star waddles behind him.
The Indian Runner Duck follows him around the shops, drinks at his local pub, watches rugby and has his own Facebook page.
Star even waits patiently in the foyer of his local Tesco as Barrie gets his groceries.
Barrie rescued Star when he was just days old and started doing a distressed ‘waddling dance’ – just like Mumble in the film Happy Feet – when he was put near his siblings.
”He just won’t leave me and so now we go everywhere together,” said Barrie.
”I’ve not trained him to follow me, he just seems to like it and he is one fantastic duck – I’ve never known any like it before.
”He comes to the pub, where everyone loves him and we’ll be watching his first world cup together next week.
”He just won’t mix at all with the other ducks and became distressed when I tried to put him with them.
”He is 11 weeks old now and going through the ugly duckling stage, but I know he will be magnificent soon.”
Grandfather-of-one Barrie, of Eastleigh near Bideford, north Devon, plucked Star from the incubator when he was days old and popped him in his pocket.
He has bred ducks for 18 months but said he knew Star was different from the moment he was born.
”He is such a personality and attracts so much attention,” Barrie said. ”Children just seem to love him.
”You get a few shocked faces walking into a shop with a duck following you.
”He did get a bad reception at one place, but everyone else seems to just love him – he is becoming a bit of an exhibitionist.
”When he was younger I would put him in my pocket while I did my shopping.
”Now he’s bigger, he happily waits in the foyer of my local Tesco as I nip in. He’s not fazed at all.
”I try not to keep him there too long in case someone pinches him, but he’s quite happy waiting.”
Fortunately for Barrie his wife Sue, an operations manager, shares his passion for ducks.
Barrie, a former scuba diving instructor in Australia, began looking after animals at the Big Sheep in Abbotsham, north Devon six years ago and fell in love with the birds.
He began training them for the duck trials and looks after the tourist attraction’s flock during the winter months.
Along with Star he has ten ducks and 12 ducklings, plus the six from the Big Sheep in winter.
Star, now 11 weeks old, has his own Facebook page under the name Star Hayman.
It reads: ”I am an Indian Runner Duck. My daddy is my best friend. I love wriggly worms and I follow my dad everywhere. I watch TV with him, especially rugby, and I even share his beer!”
Favourite books are listed as The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, Animal Farm and Charlotte’s Web.