5 Lessons Ducks, Geese and Swans Can Teach Us About Life

Updated on October 6, 2018
FlourishAnyway profile image

With a Ph.D. in psychology and a passion for animals, FlourishAnyway knows animals can teach us more about living healthy, fulfilling lives.

A Feathered Philosopher—Not a Bird Brain

Give me some respect here.  I'm flexible, water repellent, and I've got great legs.
Give me some respect here. I'm flexible, water repellent, and I've got great legs. | Source

Feathered Philosophers Share Their Tips for Living Well

Please don't say they taste like chicken. No fair calling them "bird-brained" either. And, could you kindly lay off the wisecracks about their waddle? Perhaps you haven't seen yourself walk since you put on those last five pounds.

Give the Goose and Friends Some Respect

Ducks and geese have an inferiority complex when it comes to their reputations with humans. They're tired of being stuffed for Christmas dinner and plucked for their soft feathers.

Together they've joined wings with their more uppity and contentious cousins, the swans, who have image problems of their own. Swans are widely regarded as having an especially nasty disposition.1

These feathered philosophers want your respect, and to earn it they are sharing five tips for living well.

Awesome New Yoga Pose: Sitting Duck

Can you do this?  Didn't think so!
Can you do this? Didn't think so! | Source

Reader Poll

When ducks quack at you, do you quack back?

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Lesson 1: Be Flexible

Our feathered friends are models of flexibility, as they boast a large number of neck vertebrae—from 16 in ducks to 24 or more in swans, depending on the subspecies.2 By comparison, humans, giraffes, and almost all other mammals have only seven neck vertebrae.

Ducky and his buddies use their long necks in grooming, communication, and mating displays. They also use them to feed on vegetation well below the water's surface.

Are You Loose as a Goose? If Not, Then Get Stretching

Assess your flexibility using the Sit-and-Reach Test.  This goose is laughing at you already.
Assess your flexibility using the Sit-and-Reach Test. This goose is laughing at you already. | Source

Toe-Touching Flexibility Reveals the Flexibility of Your Arteries

While we humans cannot acquire more vertebrae, we can work with the body we have to ensure that it's in the best shape possible.

Did you know that flexibility is a key indicator of cardiovascular health for people 40 years or older? Medical research has found that if you are flexible enough to touch your toes in the sit-and-reach test, then chances are your arteries are also flexible.3

Doctors are uncertain why this is true, but they do know that healthy arteries are more resilient. The stiffness of our arteries increases as we age. Inflexible arteries are associated with high blood pressure and are a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and death.4

Sit-And-Reach Test

I may have ugly feet and webbed toes, but woo-hoo I sure can reach!
I may have ugly feet and webbed toes, but woo-hoo I sure can reach! | Source

Are You Loose as a Goose? Try the Sit-And-Reach-Test

Assess your own flexibility using these simple steps:5

  1. Sit on the floor with your back against the wall.
  2. Place your legs straight out in front of you with your toes pointing straight up. Your ankles should be about 10 inches apart.
  3. Place a yardstick or rigid tape measure on the floor so that it lines up with your ankles at the 15 inch mark (~38 cm mark).
  4. Placing one hand over the other, slowly reach forward from your hips towards your toes. Do not bounce or lunge. Reach as far as you can, and measure how far you can reach on the yardstick.
  5. Repeat the process three times, and interpret your results using the table below. (Use the best of your three attempts.)

How to Interpret Results of the Sit-And-Reach Test

If You Are A ...
Your Flexibility Is AVERAGE If You Can Reach
Your Flexibility is EXCELLENT If You Can Reach
Man under 55
12 inches (30.5 cm)
19 inches (48.3 cm)
Woman under 55
16 inches (40.6 cm)
21 inches (53.3 cm)
Man 55 or older
11 inches (30.0 cm)
17 inches (43.2 cm)
Woman 55 or older
15 inches (38.1 cm)
20 inches (50.8 cm)
Results are for the Sit-and-Reach Test. The simple procedure is described above.

So "Waddle" It Take to Get You Stretching?

If you aren't as flexible as you should be, medical researchers recommend integrating Pilates, yoga, and stretching exercises into your exercise routine. Such exercises may help you modify the age-related stiffness of your arteries. Start now, and pretty soon you'll be loose as a goose!

Swans: Romantic Birds With "Fowl" Tempers

Graceful and beautiful, swans are also notorious for also being territorial and aggressive.
Graceful and beautiful, swans are also notorious for also being territorial and aggressive. | Source

Trumpeter Swan Fact

Trumpeter swans were believed to be extinct in the 1800s. Native to the Northern United States and Canada, they were overhunted and killed by the thousands for their feathers. These feathers were shipped to Europe to produce powder puffs and ladies' feathered hats.

Lesson 2: Couples Enjoy Friendship Plus Other Benefits

Swans float gracefully along the surface of the pond in pairs, necks curved. We uphold them as the epitome of romance and committed relationships.

Although "divorce" sometimes occurs, swans generally form pair bonds that last their entire lives—an average of 10 years in the wild and 30 or more years in captivity.6 If one mate dies, the other goes through a mourning period. It remains alone for several seasons before finding another mate or joining a flock.

Lifelong partnerships provide swans significant reproductive advantages, as both males and females cooperate in raising their young (called "cygnets").

Humans also reap rewards from matrimonial partnerships, and the benefits go far beyond having a steady partner to fluff your feathers. Men, however, often get more out of the arrangement than women.

Who's Your Daddy?

Up to 40% of eggs in "monogamous" birds may be fathered by a different mate.  Uh-oh!
Up to 40% of eggs in "monogamous" birds may be fathered by a different mate. Uh-oh! | Source

Financial Benefits

The financial pluses of marriage are not limited to sharing expenses and combining resources. Married couples have an average of twice as much in the bank as unmarried couples.7 Married people also gain access to health care coverage, lower rates on auto premiums, Social Security survivor benefits, and other federal benefits.

Career Benefits

A married man earns approximately one-third more than his single buddies, and men who are cohabiting with a partner earn on average 15-20% more than single men.8 Men's pay levels benefit from marrying earlier, regardless of whether they are high school graduates or more educated.

For women, this is not the case, however. If they have at least some college education there is a career income benefit to delaying marriage until after age 30.9

How Many Birds Is This Woman Wearing?

Feathered hats and boas were popular during past eras.  This photo was from about 1900.
Feathered hats and boas were popular during past eras. This photo was from about 1900. | Source

Health and Longevity Benefits

Wedded bliss also contributes to health and longer lifespans. Research has found that not having a life partner or spouse during middle age is associated with premature death; never married people are twice as likely to die during middle age.

According to one study, men don't even have to be involved in a happy marriage to reap its health benefits. Compared to single men, married men had a 46% lower likelihood of dying—even if their marriage was unhappy.10

However, studies tend to indicate that women reap the health rewards of marriage only when it is a happy one. Happily married women gain less weight, have lower cholesterol, and are less likely to experience depression and heart disease.11

For both men and women, marriage can be especially beneficial during times of serious illness. In a large-scale study of married and unmarried cancer patients, those who did not have a spouse were

  • 17% more likely to have an advanced stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis
  • 53% less likely to receive appropriate therapy than married patients and
  • 20% more likely to die than married cancer patients.

So there you have it: matrimony can provide a key survival benefit.

Facts About Ducks, Geese and Swans

• Ducks and geese waddle because they have webbed feet and relatively short legs.

• Swans can fold one of their legs up onto their backs. They do it to absorb extra warmth from the sun, thus helping to regulate their body temperature.

• Ducks pair up for a season. Geese and swans are socially monogamous for life but not always sexually faithful. Male birds unknowingly help raise young that are not even theirs. (Oh, no! Feathered Philanderers?!)

Not an Ugly Duckling Among Us

According to psychological studies, merely considering yourself attractive is associated with many socially desirable traits, including better social skills and comfort with the opposite sex.
According to psychological studies, merely considering yourself attractive is associated with many socially desirable traits, including better social skills and comfort with the opposite sex. | Source

Reader Poll

How would you rate your attractiveness?

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Lesson 3: Preen a Little

Ducks, geese, and swans engage in preening, or self-grooming of their feathers. Preening removes parasites and helps keep them both clean and dry. The birds use their bills to align their feathers just so and to coat them with a special water repellent substance from their preen gland.

Just as preening helps ducks, geese and swans to look their best, it can also help you.

The Attractiveness Bias: "What Is Beautiful Is Good"

Beauty confers a lot of benefits, even if it is a surface quality.12 Physically attractive people are perceived as happier, more sociable, and more successful than the "uglier ducklings" among us.

The attractiveness bias extends to teacher ratings, voter preferences of political candidates, and juror judgments. The attractiveness bias is sometimes referred to as "the what is beautiful is good" effect because we tend to associate attractive people with desirable qualities.

These male mandarin ducks most certainly benefit from the attractiveness bias, don't you think?
These male mandarin ducks most certainly benefit from the attractiveness bias, don't you think? | Source

Being Beautiful at Work

Being beautiful isn't merely about perceptions. It translates into tangible advantages.

In employment contexts, better-looking job applicants are judged as more hirable, and they receive higher salary offers. This is in spite of a near-zero relationship between intellectual competence and attractiveness.

Once on the job, the benefits of being good-looking extend to career development opportunities and promotions. Attractive employees are more likely to be selected for management training programs. They are also more likely to be promoted to managerial positions.

While our attractiveness is fixed to some extent by heredity, we can preen so that we are the most beautiful versions of ourselves as possible. Adjustments to makeup, hairstyling, clothing, fitness, and posture can all impact how we present ourselves.

Decide for yourself. While it is true that beauty is skin deep, preening can help you tangibly feather your nest.

Good Things Take Time

Ducks and geese lay one egg each day until their entire nest of 8-18 eggs is ready to incubate.  The eggs hatch within a day or two of one another.
Ducks and geese lay one egg each day until their entire nest of 8-18 eggs is ready to incubate. The eggs hatch within a day or two of one another. | Source

Lesson 4: Tackle a Large Project One Day at a Time

Ducks and geese pair up in late Fall and begin to nest the following Spring.13 The couple together selects a nesting location under shrubbery or in tall vegetation, away from the water as well as predators.

The mother becomes a Project Manager, laying between 8 and 18 eggs (depending on the variety of duck or goose). Meanwhile her mate waits for her in the water. Understanding the enormity of her task, the female lays one egg each day. By delaying incubation until all of her eggs have been laid, she ensures that all of her hatchlings will emerge within a 24-48-hour period. Then she can lead them to water.

These ducklings are adorable projects that require major resource investments from their parents.  Ducks and geese lay between 8 and 18 eggs.  Swans often lay 3 to 11, depending on the particular breed.
These ducklings are adorable projects that require major resource investments from their parents. Ducks and geese lay between 8 and 18 eggs. Swans often lay 3 to 11, depending on the particular breed. | Source

Project Management Basics

If you are faced with a large project that threatens to overwhelm you, divide your large task into smaller tasks with actionable steps. Determine a schedule, the resources and tools you will need as well as the milestones you will use to assess progress against your project plan.

Also consider what tasks you can delegate. (The mama duck, for instance, does delegate some tasks to papa duck. A gal shouldn't do everything herself.)

Focus your efforts on what you must get done today, giving yourself a specific amount of time to complete each task. Challenge yourself by working against the clock. Take scheduled breaks and record your progress.

Most of all, make yourself accountable by sharing your performance against your established project plan. By taking it one day at a time, pretty soon you'll be where you want to be!

Anyone Else Have Duck Toes?

Syndactyly refers webbing between human toes, typically the second and third. It occurs in about 1 in 2,000 live births.
Syndactyly refers webbing between human toes, typically the second and third. It occurs in about 1 in 2,000 live births. | Source

If you have "webbed feet" (duck toes), tell us about them in the Comments Section.

If you have webbed feet (also known as "duck toes," or more properly "syndactyly"), tell us about your experience in the Comments Section. Do you hide them? Do you "quack people up" with them? Have you gotten corrective surgery?

Talk It Out

If you don't talk it out -- or honk or quack -- it's easy for misunderstands to develop.
If you don't talk it out -- or honk or quack -- it's easy for misunderstands to develop. | Source

Lesson 5: Let the Stress Roll off like Water Off a Duck's Back

Thanks to the uropygial gland (or preen gland), ducks, swans and geese are able to apply a special waxy substance which effectively waterproofs them. Wouldn't it be awesome to apply the same technique to ourselves to ward off stress?

Too much stress is associated with

  • clinical depression
  • weight gain
  • insomnia
  • headaches/migraines
  • preterm labor in pregnant women
  • high blood sugar in diabetics
  • back pain
  • flare-ups of asthma, multiple sclerosis, and other serious medical conditions
  • greater inflammation and colds
  • higher risk of strokes and heart attack
  • development of chronic diseases
  • accelerated shrinkages of brain tissue in areas of the brain overseeing reasoning, decision making, emotion, and self-control
  • premature aging
  • genetic changes that may show up in the next generation.

So do you need any more convincing to get your stress under control? Whether you exercise, meditate, or talk it out with a friend, learn how to let the stress roll off like water off a duck's back.

Your health depends on it!

Like Water off a Duck's Back

You got this.  Don't let the small stuff bother you.  And by the way, it's all small stuff.
You got this. Don't let the small stuff bother you. And by the way, it's all small stuff. | Source

Buttercup the Disabled Duck: One Lucky Ducky

When Buttercup the duck was hatched in a high school biology class in 2012, one of his feet was turned backwards.

Unfortunately, his disability could not be fully corrected, and he could waddle only with extreme pain. Buttercup went to Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary for treatment.

His foot was amputated, and the lucky ducky received a high tech prosthetic foot thanks to the wonders of three-dimensional printing technology.

Buttercup the Disabled Duck Gets a High-Tech 3-D Printed Foot

Resist the Urge to Feed Ducks and Geese at Your Local Park

Before you head off to the park with a loaf of bread, think twice. Although many people feed ducks and geese, the habit is actually harmful to the birds for the following reasons:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Disease contagion
  • Unnatural dependency on handouts
  • Pollution
  • Overcrowding
  • Delayed migration

Why not take photos instead?

If You Love Them Please Look but Don't Feed

"Angel wing" is a disease that results from malnutrition.  It results in twisted feathers, is incurable and leads to death.  If you care about them, please don't feed waterfowl bread.
"Angel wing" is a disease that results from malnutrition. It results in twisted feathers, is incurable and leads to death. If you care about them, please don't feed waterfowl bread. | Source

Sources

1British Waterfowl Association. "Swans." British Waterfowl Association home page. Accessed September 25, 2013. http://www.waterfowl.org.uk/swans.html.

2Michigan State University. "Kellogg Bird Sanctuary: Know your Swans." Welcome - W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Accessed March 4, 2016. http://birdsanctuary.kbs.msu.edu/visit/birds/birds-exhibit/kellogg-bird-sanctuary-know-swans/.

3Medical News Today. "The Important Relationship Between Flexibility And Health." Last modified October 9, 2009. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/166574.php.

4 Tanenbaum, Sharon. "Increase your flexibility and improve your life - CNN.com." CNN.com. Last modified August 21, 2010. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/21/increase.flexibility.realsimple/index.html.

Awww!

Never release a domestic duck into the wild.
Never release a domestic duck into the wild. | Source

5 Khalsa, Soram. "The Flexibility of Your Body Correlates With the Flexibility of Your Arteries." The Huffington Post. Last modified May 11, 2010. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-soram-khalsa/yoga-health-the-flexibili_b_570848.html.

6Tudge, Colin. "They famously mate for life, but as one flighty pair find new lovers... the truth about the sex lives of swans." Mail Online. Last modified January 26, 2010. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1246073/They-famously-mate-life-flighty-pair-new-lovers--truth-sex-lives-swans.html.

7Ebben, Paula. "Can Marriage Improve Your Finances? « CBS Boston." CBS Boston. Last modified February 21, 2011. http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/02/21/can-marriage-improve-your-finances/.

8Sutherland, Keri. "Married men earn a third more than their single counterparts." Mail Online. Last modified January 30, 2010. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247317/Married-men-earn-single-counterparts.html.

9Barkhorn, Eleanor. "Getting Married Later Is Great for College-Educated Women." The Atlantic. Last modified March 15, 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/getting-married-later-is-great-for-college-educated-women/274040/.

Gentle Mother Cat Adopts Abandoned Baby Ducklings

10Harvard Medical School. "Marriage Leads to Better Health for Men - Harvard Health Publications." Health Information and Medical Information - Harvard Health Publications. Last modified July, 2010. http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/marriage-leads-to-better-health-for-men.

11DeNoon, Daniel J. "Only Happy Marriage Is Healthy for Women." WebMD. Last modified September 15, 2003. http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20030915/only-happy-marriage-is-healthy-for-women.

12Cornell HR Review. "May the Best (Looking) Man Win: the Unconscious Role of Attractiveness in Employment Decisions." Last modified February 14, 2013. http://www.cornellhrreview.org/may-the-best-looking-man-win-the-unconscious-role-of-attractiveness-in-employment-decisions/.

13Wildlife Rehabber. "Duck - Goose Egg And Nest Information | Wildlife Rehabber." Wildlife Rehabilitation Information and Resources. Accessed September 29, 2013. http://wildliferehabber.com/content/duck-information.

This pair of black swans looks after their cygnet. Geese and swans are typically socially monogamous for life but not always sexually faithful.
This pair of black swans looks after their cygnet. Geese and swans are typically socially monogamous for life but not always sexually faithful. | Source

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 FlourishAnyway

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      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        askformore lm - I'm glad you enjoyed this. Have a great week!

      • askformore lm profile image

        askformore lm 

        4 years ago

        Thank you for a very interesting hub. You share with all of us a lot of information. However, all the info isn't boring, because of your very entertaining style. Thanks!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        ologsinquito - Thanks for reading. Although I'm not in the healthcare profession myself, I do have accounts with several medical sites and have the benefit of being able to learn all kinds of fascinating medical facts. Our bodies often can tell us what's going on with them if we understand the cues.

      • ologsinquito profile image

        ologsinquito 

        4 years ago from USA

        Your articles are so well researched. That's really interesting about the relationship between flexibility and cardiovascular health.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        moonlake - Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a great day.

      • moonlake profile image

        moonlake 

        5 years ago from America

        Enjoyed your hub good advice and love the photos. Vote up...

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Carolyn - Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading and learning about waterfowl. They are cute little quackers. Have a great day.

      • CarolynEmerick profile image

        Carolyn Emerick 

        5 years ago

        Oh another one of your beautiful animal hubs! I find them amusing, educational, and uplifting all at the same time. Upvoted and sharing (I share off HP where I have more followers) Thanks again for another great one. I especially love waterfowl :-)

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Jackie - Thanks for stopping by. I think only mammals nurse, but it was cute seeing them cuddled up and imitating their adopted siblings!

      • profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        5 years ago

        I love all your feathered friends and that video is something else, do duck nurse? I mean their real mothers? ^&share.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        LongTimeMother - Thanks for reading and sharing. Glad you're healthy on the inside and on the out!

      • LongTimeMother profile image

        LongTimeMother 

        5 years ago from Australia

        What an awesome hub! I was greatly relieved to pass the sit-and-reach test. :) Voted up and sharing.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        aviannovice - Awesome that you enjoyed this! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to give your feedback.

      • aviannovice profile image

        Deb Hirt 

        5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

        This is well done, and naturally, I enjoyed the parts about the waterfowl best.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Bill - Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing. Buttercup is so cute, all grown up now. He marched down the red carpet at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis where he was a guest of honor in July. It's something how resilient animals are, and I'm glad this new technology could help him.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        LKMore01 - That is such a nice compliment. Thank you so much. I appreciate your reading.

      • LKMore01 profile image

        LKMore01 

        5 years ago

        Flourish,

        This HUB is truly a work of art. You are so talented and creative. I feel like I just had a brain massage. Beautiful.

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 

        5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Hi FA. What a wonderful and funny hub. We certainly can learn a few things from our feathered friends. I remember the story of buttercup, certainly one lucky duck. We have a park nearby (forest park) and it's full of geese, ducks, swans, etc.. We love going there to just feed them and watch them, very therapeutic. Really enjoyed this one. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc..

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Vinaya - Aesop and his fables were fabulous. I appreciate you stopping by and am glad you liked these.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Benjamin - I'm so glad you enjoyed it and found it creative and entertaining. These creatures have a lot to teach us if we'll pay attention.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Heidi - Absolutely - the flock mentality! Especially during migrations, Canadian geese exhibit their famous V formation and share in the leadership position. If one member becomes hurt or ill and is grounded, another will stay with them. We could really learn something from these birds! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        5 years ago from Chicago Area

        The flock mentality (teamwork?) of geese also help them survive in some challenging urban conditions. Love the story of Buttercup. 3D print tech will change so many things in our lives, including medicine. Thanks for sharing!

      • profile image

        Benjamin Chege 

        5 years ago

        Hi FlourishAnyway. Creative hub. Voted up, awesome and beautiful. I like the way you have used geese and ducks to come up with roles and lessons in a way that is less formal and achievable. Nice read. Thanks for sharing.

      • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

        Vinaya Ghimire 

        5 years ago from Nepal

        Animals are great teachers, that's why ancient story tellers such as Aesop told human stories with animal characters.

        I enjoyed reading your life lessons.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        AliciaC - Thank you for the kudos. They are beautiful creatures and sure know a lot about living.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        DDE - Taking good care of yourself probably maintains your self-confidence, too. Thank you for reading, commenting and voting. I put a lot of research and effort into making them just so.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        I have been through many changes especially since my move to Croatia and life here is more traditional, most woman here don't take care of themselves. I however make sure I do and men off course don't bother much at least most of them don't care much to take care of themselves. An interesting hub about How To Live Your Best Life: Lessons Learned From Ducks, Geese & Swans, so well thought of and so true. The photos and style most impressive. Voted up, useful and interesting!

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        This is a very creative and informative hub, FlourishAnyway! I appreciate all the details and work that you put into it. The hub is entertaining, too!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        bravewarrior - Thanks for reading. It is perfectly fine to be without a partner if that's your choice or your circumstance. The lesson that "Couples Enjoy Friendship Plus Great Benefits" is not a value statement but instead supported by data. Fair or not, there are financial, career, health and longevity benefits associated with such relationships, and these tend to benefit men more than women. Women actually seek the majority of divorces.

        The lesson regarding "Preen A Little" refers to the extensive research on the attractiveness bias. If one desires to take advantage of the attractiveness bias, s/he should preen. If not, one should not worry about appearance and just go about their business. Do what works for you.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Elias, thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed it.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        5 years ago from Central Florida

        Flourish, I have mixed feelings about this hub. Men are more amenable to marriage? Well, I guess if the wife takes care of them. I have been married twice and severed both relationships. I was the strong one and I got tired of it. Especially since I had a child to raise on top of it. I discovered my son and I were better off without a man who didn't want to contribute emotionally or financially.

        I used to be very attractive, but ever since I started working from home, I have quit 'preening'. Now I have gained weight (I'm divorced) and have quit making myself pretty. I don't wear makeup, I stopped covering the gray and I work in sweats or loose fitting pants and oversized t-shirts. I'm tired of making a 'presence' for the public. What does that say about me?

      • Elias Zanetti profile image

        Elias Zanetti 

        5 years ago from Athens, Greece

        Great hub and most interesting and funny read! Many thanks!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Liz - Duck toes are odd indeed. I'm embarrassed to say I have them (second and third toes connected halfway up). I've received quite a bite of "wisequacks" from family about it, although the trait is genetic. Thanks for reading, voting, and sharing!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Suzette - Don't feel bad. I was guilty of feeding the ducks and geese, too, until I researched this. I won't anymore, though now that I know the damage it can do. Thanks for your kind words. Glad they have your respect!

      • epbooks profile image

        Elizabeth Parker 

        5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

        What a cute and clever hub! I loved this and the comparisons and I've never seen duck toes before! :) Thank you for sharing this entertaining and informational article. Voted up and shared!

      • suzettenaples profile image

        Suzette Walker 

        5 years ago from Taos, NM

        Oh my goodness, this is hilarious and yet filled with great advice. Your metaphor to the duck family is great. You are so right about all your suggestions and advice. I do feel guilty though, I am one of those that feed the ducks and geese, but I won't anymore. I don't want to harm them. They are so beautiful. We have lots of Canadian geese here in Ohio as they pass over here in their yearly migrations. I so enjoyed reading this and there will be no more duck jokes here! LOL

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Crafty - Thank you for reading. So glad you enjoyed this. Have a great day.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Mariewj - Thank you for the kudos. I appreciate your reading them both!

      • CraftytotheCore profile image

        CraftytotheCore 

        5 years ago

        Amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Great tips!

      • profile image

        mariewj 

        5 years ago

        This is even better than your cat article in the same series. A really enjoyable, fun and informative read.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Mhatter99 - You're pretty entertaining yourself, Martin. Sometimes you quack me up! Bahaha. Thanks for reading.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        shanmarie - I wish I could do the sitting duck too! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Mhatter99 profile image

        Martin Kloess 

        5 years ago from San Francisco

        To say this is entertaining would be an understatement. thank you

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        5 years ago from Texas

        Ohmygoodness! You are so funny. Would that I could do the sitting duck - or any yoga for that matter!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Faith Reaper - Ducks, geese and swans are beautiful to watch and smart too! I appreciate your kind comments, reading, and sharing.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        5 years ago from southern USA

        These series you have going on here are brilliant, creative, fun and oh-so helpful too!!!

        Truly enjoyable read here. Yes, we certainly can learn much from ducks, geese and swans ... especially the letting things roll off our backs part. All the video and pics are great too. I love your humor as always included here, plus with the useful ...serious information, this is a winner here!

        Up and across the board and sharing.

        Hugs to you and yours, Faith Reaper

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