Quack up your Shakespeare


With David Backman, Michaela Murphy and Marc Elzweig

August 2002

Bleary and dirty from a 10-hour trans-Atlantic flight, he perched on a nearby map to get his bearings and find a good place to eat.

He knew from his previous visit that the United Kingdom was a odd place where left was right, statues moved, and best friends would attack you with axes, but a hollow map was a bit too much to handle on top of the jetlag.

Marc brought NOT to a nearby house, where he hoped to ask for a recommendation for a local restaurant. The owner, someone named Wm. Shakespeare, not only wasn't home, but had evidently been dead for hundreds of years! No help there.

On the next block, he introduced himself to a friendly local owl named Hedwig (who was more than an inch, angry or not).

"I'm starving!" NOT quacked. "Is there anywhere to eat around here?" Hedwig cocked his head. "Well, I just finished a Tootsie Pop in three licks, so I can't help you there, ol' chap," he hooted in a British accent. "I'm sure that there's a place nearby with some local specialties. Would you like some toad-in-the-hole? Blood pudding? Spotted dick?"

"I'm not sure if that's what I'm hungry for" NOT quacked queasily. "Is that what you usually have for lunch?"

"Oh, no. I ordered some take-away. Here's the delivery boy now!" Hedwig hooted excitedly. He flew up and perched on the glove of a man who had just walked up, opening his gullet wide for a squirming mouse.

"Nice to meet you," said NOT, hurriedly flying away to find Dave.

"I think I found the perfect place for us," said Dave. He led NOT around the corner to an amazing pub serving the needs of humans and mallards, 

The Dirty Duck. They celebrated their find by ordering pints of beer to wash down their meal of fish and chips.

Europe Travel

Photos courtesy of David Backman

Last Updated November 2002