The Duck Whisperer’s Take on Wyoming Political Scene

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Bill Sniffin
Bill Sniffin
What possible connection could a bunch of ducks have to do with Wyoming’s current political situation?
Well, let me explain.
My relatives refer to me as “The Duck Whisperer,” since we have tame ducks that qualify as our pets.   No dogs. No cats. No parakeets. No hamsters.  Just ducks. 
And we have odd ducks, sitting ducks, lame ducks and we even have daffy ducks.  Here are some thoughts on the current political situation, duck-wise:
• Sitting Duck – Although he is far from being a lame duck, U. S. Sen. Mike Enzi is obviously being viewed as a sitting duck by the gal who wants to replace him, Liz Cheney.  She is going to find out he is not as much of a sitting duck as she thinks.
History will show that Sen. Enzi has been possibly the most effective senator this state has ever elected.  He deserves to continue to do his good work, despite this latest ambush. Who would have thought that his staff’s current motto for their boss should have been “duck!”
• Cold Duck – This is the aforementioned Liz Cheney, who has denied her role in the pecking order and wants to move to the head of the line.  When it comes to getting all her ducks in the row, she is going to skip three or four necessary steps. She thinks it is her turn because the folks at Fox News must have told her so.  
It is well known that too much Cold Duck is not good for the system.  Can give you a headache. A word of caution, though, is be careful of Cold Duck.  Criticism washes off like water off a duck’s back. 
• Daffy Duck – Here in Wyoming, this has to be Cindy Hill, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.  With all her antics and the craziness being reported from how she handled her department, well, she qualifies as the Daffy Duck of Wyoming’s politics.  
Gov. Matt Mead and legislature leaders deserve credit for dealing with her early in the game as a way to limit the damage she was causing.  Their motto may have been: “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, well, then it must be a duck.” Plus her husband’s name is Drake.
• Dead duck – that tag may very well describe both Ms. Hill and Ms. Cheney in about 15 months time. Or sooner 
And I have learned a lot from our ducks, which go by the names of Pearl (a twin to the Aflac duck on TV ads), New Stud, Studley, Blackhead, Greenhead, Paint, Speckledbill, Greenbill and Whitey Too.
For the longest time, we had four males and a lone female, nicknamed T. P. which stood for the old expression Town Pump about the town’s easiest female. 
Then one day, she laid a nest full of eggs and became a “sitting duck.”  That was the end of her.  All we found were some feathers and broken eggshells. Truth be known, she was probably too exhausted from all her amorous adventures to flee her attacker.
Then a fifth male who had been driven away by the others returned home.  He soon got along fine with the other boys because there were no ducks of the female persuasion to fight over at the time.
We also once had a rooster, that is, a male chicken.  We seem to attract males. 
We have four ponds and a creek on our property.  The ducks seem to be able to fend off predators (unless they are sitting ducks) but this did not help the rooster.  All we found were some feathers. He was only on the job three days.
Having all these ducks has caused me to pay attention to how many “duck expressions” we use in normal conversation. For example, these ducks really do have a “pecking order.”  Now I understand the expression “having your ducks in a row.”   We also have several “odd ducks.” 
Not sure why a bad doctor is called a quack but I think I now know where the expression  “like a wounded duck” came from.
Our biggest problem is that Nancy insists on feeding the ducks corn.  They love that stuff.  I call it duck candy.
When I start out the door with a 50-pound bag of corn over my shoulder, they come running.  Did you know that only female ducks quack?  A very demanding quack, at that.  The guys? Well, they just mutter a lot.  Just like home.
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at  He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent book is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at
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