Hampton rubber ducky’s travels continue to mystify
Gale Ducky takes in the sights of San Diego earlier this month during a hike to summit of the city's highest point, Cowles Mountain. (Courtesy)
HAMPTON — A yellow rubber ducky that vanished from a large puddle in front of a residence earlier this year continues to tour the world, but the circumstances surrounding the duck-napping and the vacation that followed remain a mystery.
The duck’s travels have been documented through photos posted on a Facebook page called Gale Ducky – named after Gale Road in Hampton. That’s where the duck used to live with its longtime owner, 18-year-old Alicia Troiano.
Troiano used to stick the duck in puddles after it rained, but one day last spring it was found to be missing. Troiano later received a postcard explaining that the duck was safe and now traveling around the world.
The duck-napper has never been revealed, and how the duck is able to travel so much also isn’t known.
Some have speculated that it’s traveling with a businessman who takes a lot of trips, but others wonder if the duck is being shipped around from one country to another by people who have agreed to take part in a unique journey that has taken it to places like a desert in Kuwait, cafes in Amsterdam, the blue ocean of Maldives and the San Diego Zoo.
The New Hampshire Union Leader recently reached out to Gale Ducky through Facebook to learn more about the unusual global tour and whether it will ever be returned to Troiano, who has now headed off to college in Ohio to study international studies.
Gale Ducky responded via e-mail, but offered no clues about who’s behind the duck-napping.
“Of course, I miss my owner and my home town. I do plan on returning and hopefully traveling with my owner; after all, she is studying international studies. Perhaps she will get to take me to places I didn’t get to visit. As to when I will return, that all depends on my adventures, so I do not have a set time frame,” Gale Ducky wrote in the e-mail.
Gale Ducky didn’t reveal too much about the story behind its travels.
“As far as my ability to take so many trips, well, you know it took me a while to leave the comforts of my ‘rain-made’ pond back home, but I knew I wanted to travel. So, using my charm and good looks, I made some great friends who make sure I am cared for and safe... but most importantly, that I am able to travel as much as possible,” the e-mail said.
Troiano and her friends continue to follow Gale Ducky on Facebook.
“Sometimes I will go to the page and look at the pictures and I cannot help but smile. Everything about it just cracks me up,” she said.
Troiano still wonders who’s behind it all.
“I still have no idea who took my duck. There have been no familiar faces in the pictures or anything else that would provide a lead as to who it is,” she said.
Troiano has enjoyed watching the travels so much that she would prefer to have the duck continue on.
“There is always the possibility of it returning home, but I would much rather have it continue its journey than sit in my house or float in my front yard again. Whoever has my duck has such a great sense of humor and I am enjoying seeing them have fun with my duck,” she said.
Gale Ducky said it never expected to see so many smiling faces during its journey.
Many of the photos on the Facebook page show strangers in other countries posing with the duck.
“People of all ages smile and want to greet me. Sometimes they laugh. I guess that’s because they don’t normally see a giant rubber ducky experiencing the world,” the e-mail said.
So where’s the next stop on Gale Ducky’s journey?
“My upcoming plans include enjoying the views high atop the world with a glass of Sekt and some soothing classical melodies, as well as spending a fabulous time bedazzled by entertainment, lights and late nights on Highway 91.”
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