This unloved ‘ugly duckling’ who was abandoned by her family has been given a new home at her local pub – and even has her own BAR STOOL.
Crispy the duck was hand-reared by pub landlady Gail Payne, 43, after becoming separated from her brood.
She was released into the wild two years ago but has stunned pub regulars by waddling back into the Black Lion Inn, in St Albans, Herts., while a football match was on the big screen.
The three-year duck has now decided to stay at the pub and even settled into her own bar stool where she anxiously pecks away at any drinker who dares sit on her seat.
Mrs Payne said: ”Crispy was an abandoned duckling and when we found her we knew we had to look after her.
”We used to take her down to the park everyday and we used to teach her to swim. She would then fly off and come back to the pub – that went on for about two weeks.
”She finally disappeared two years ago and we thought we’d never see her again.
”Then at the weekend she waddled into the pub when all the men were watching the football on the big screen and joined in.
”There was lots of footballers shouting and hooting and she came in and settled in amongst them.
”I can’t believe that after two years she has come back.
”To be honest I thought she might not have survived. She went and we never saw her again, but it turned out she was absolutely fine.
”She doesn’t like to be on her own – she likes human company.
“She is happy as long as she is on the bar and amongst everybody.
”She has even got her own bar stool where we prop her up and she falls asleep, much to the annoyance of my cat Monster who sees that she has stolen his throne.
”I have to admit she’s a bit of a star. She has a proper fan club. People come in and ask for Crispy.
”She hops up the steps to get into the pub and sometimes flies around the front of the pub and taps on the window to come in.
”We normally keep her outside when the restaurant and pub is busy but when its quiet she has her own stool she likes to sit on and is very noisy.”
”I think it’s fantastic, she is a bit of a liability. They’re brilliant pets apart from you can’t house train them.
”They are very affectionate in a strange, greasy, feathery way. She has definitely got bag-fulls of personality. She just wants love.
”If she doesn’t get enough attention she makes an awful row.”
Gail and Graham Spark, 50, owner of the Black Lion Inn, rescued Crispy after she was found on top of a wall unable to fly outside the pub in 2008.
Preparing her to be released into the wild, Gail taught Crispy how to swim, forage for food and protect herself against predators.
She would often leave Crispy alone at the nearby Verulamium Park to encourage her to integrate with other ducks.
But the clever bird would always navigate its way back to the pub until one day in September 2008 Crispy finally spread her wings and flew the nest.
Crispy has waddled into the pub to join football fans watch Wigan’s clash against Blackpool on Saturday afternoon.