11-09-2011, 10:15 PM
"So that's the deal," Criss said to Brenda. "We can't keep bringing them here to the Luxor anymore because of the health laws. But if I leave them at home, Hammie's gonna kill them for sure. You got any suggestions?"
Brenda thought it over for a minute. "Well, they've already reached the halfway point in their development. In another month, they'll be ready to learn to fly--that's when they'll be fully fledged adults. They can find their own food and all, but in the meantime, they're still dependent upon you for protection. I think I have an idea on how we can solve the problem of where to raise them outside the hotel and your home, but I'll need your help."
"I'm going to need a few items from you to make the transition easier: the nest you made for them, a large photo of your face, shoes you've worn around them, and a recording of your voice."
Criss smiled. "No problem. So, where are you gonna take them?"
"The closest semi-natural body of water in Las Vegas," Brenda replied. "Baja Golf Course."
Criss smacked his forehead with the back of his hand. "Aw! Son of a (bleep)!" he exclaimed. "Why the hell didn't I think of that?"
"Well, I just thought of it myself yesterday," Brenda said. "I made a few phone calls, and they said they'd welcome the ducklings at their pond off the fifth hole. There aren't any ducks there, so there's no danger of them being attacked."
"Wait a minute, wait. Danger of being attacked by other ducks? I don't understand."
"Duck families are very close knit; orphaned baby ducks will be attacked as outsiders by other ducks. They don't exactly believe in adoption, you know."
Criss muttered something about La Cosa Nostra and shifted in his seat. "So, when do we make the big move."
"Tomorrow morning around eleven AM. Get all the things I need and the ducklings ready to go by then."
"They'll be ready, Doc," Criss promised. "No problem."
It was indeed no problem gathering the required materials and preparing the ducklings for transport. It was informing the public in general and the fans in particular that proved to be difficult. Though the majority understood the reason (or claimed they did), the disappointment was obvious. The Loyals especially were vocal in their disapproval of the forced move:
The Loyal Community > General Discussion > WE LOVE CRISS' DUCKLINGS!!
Moderator Nae: Just got word that Criss' ducklings are no longer allowed to be at the Luxor Hotel for health and safety reasons. The health department says they have to go, so we'll no longer be seeing Quackers, Ducky, Downy, Omlette, Yolk-O or Ferdinand around the Luxor.
Curlye: awwwwwww that blows
MzMystery: I'm gonna miss those little guys and Suggie will too. She loves the ittie duckies Criss has.
KrisLee: It's sad to see them go, but health laws are health laws. Besides, Criss says he was going to return them to the wild once they grew up. They had to go sometime.
Veritas: *sighs* It was fun while it lasted, but it's all for the best. Good-bye, duckies, we'll miss you.
Greekgoddess: Hey we got a pond out back of our house maybe they can stay there
RoseRed13: what the health dept says I WANT THE DUCKIES BACK!!!!
A huge crowd assembled in the lobby of the Luxor on Saturday morning with cameras, camcorders and cameraphones to take final photos of the Luxor ducklings. Parents held up their children, or jostled for a front row spot for a better view. There were tears, there was laughter, there was grief, there was cameraderie, all to bid farewell to the six little ducks Criss Angel had rescued a month ago.
The media, armed with more sophisticated equipment, took their positions along the red-carpeted pathway the ducklings would walk to the main entrance where a special transport van would take them to the Baja Golf Course. Every foot of the red carpet had the best visual coverage possible, lighted with five-hundred watt overhead lights that practically simulated sunlight. If not for the fact that it was eleven AM, the event would have been mistaken for the Acadamy Awards or the Grammys.
A loud trumpet fanfare echoed throughout the lobby. The crowd cheered, knowing this was the moment they had been waiting for. Criss appeared at the far end of the red carpet, holding up his hands in acknowledgement and to bid the crowd to be silent. "Thank you!" he shouted over the din. "Thank you very much!"
The cheering died down. Someone handed Criss a microphone. "Thank you," Criss repeated into the mike. "I just want to say I appreciate all of you coming out today to say good-bye to my little ducklings. As much as you enjoyed seeing them in the window and having them around the Luxor, I regret to say they have to move out because the health department says we can't keep them here."
There were some boos and razzes. "I know, I know," Criss went on. "I'm not too thrilled about it myself, but the law's the law. Anyway, they'll be moved to a more natural setting--if a golf course can be said to be natural. And now, I'd like to introduce the lady who helped me raise my little brood, so to speak. She's an orthinologist from Wildlife Rescue of Nevada who's dedicated her time to helping our little ducklings get ready for life in the wild. Please welcome Dr. Brenda Gilchrist."
Brenda stepped up to Criss' side to the sound of polite applause. Criss gave her the mike. Brenda murmured her thanks, nervous as she was about speaking in public. "I just want to say, uh, thank you for your support in making this, uh, this cause of ours public. We ask that you continue to help us rescue Nevada's wildlife, in the air, on land and in the water, so that future generations will be able to enjoy it as much as we do today. Thank you."
She handed the mike back to Criss, her face almost as red as her hair. "Let's give it up for Brenda!" Criss crowed. "And now, the moment you've all been waiting for!"
A foot-wide spotlight zeroed in on a small box draped with a red velour curtain like a theater stage. There was a drum roll, the curtain parted, and the first duckling waddled out. "Here they are!" Criss said. "Say hello to...Downy!"
Cameras flashed as Downy trotted toward Criss, who called out their names as each duckling emerged from the box. "Omlette!...Quackers!...Ducky!...Yolk-O!...aaaaannnnnd Ferdinand!"
The ducklings huddled around Criss' boot. Criss walked toward the main entrance, urging them on. Instinctively, the ducklings followed, waddling up the red carpet as fast as they could to keep up with him. People cheered and waved at them as they passed. "Good-bye, duckies!" they shouted. "We're going to miss you!"
A little girl, no more than three years old, squatted down on the carpet close to the ducklings. "Hi, ittie duckies!" she called out, reaching out to pet them. "Hi, ittie duckies!"
The ducklings ran away from the little girl, getting as close to Criss as possible. The child's face twisted into weeping. "I wanna see the duckies!" she wailed. "I wanna see the duckies!"
Her mother picked her up and held her close. "It's okay, sweetheart," she said, holding her daughter close. "We can go see the duckies in their new home."
Meanwhile, the ducklings had reached the main entryway. A ramp had been set up for them to climb up into the van. One by one, at Criss' urging, they waddled up the ramp and into the large cage inside. As the last duckling stepped into the cage, the door slammed shut behind them. Criss trotted to the side of the van and climbed into it, waving as he went. A couple of security guards waved the crowd back into the lobby as the van started its journey to Baja.
The media reporters wrapped up their broadcasts and began to disperse while the public milled around a while longer, chatting and comparing digital photos of Criss and his brood. The little girl plastered her face against the window and sobbed inconsolably as she watched the van carrying the ittie duckies drove away. Not even the promise of an ice cream cone could tear her away. "I want the duckies!" she kept repeating between sniffles. "I want the duckies!"