The Peabody Hotel in Little Rock is a nice hotel with reasonable rates, a great restaurant and a cool bar, but we don’t have the budget on this trip, nor a regular fondness for five-star hotels. This trip, we were more interested in seeing the five STAR ducks that make the Peabody’s lobby fountain their home.
Twice a day, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., the hotel’s “duckmaster” leads the ducks to and from their second floor suite to the small pond in the lobby. And it’s quite a scene, dozens of people armed with cameras jam themselves along the red carpet vying for the best spot to snap a few shots of the waddling, quacking and posing stars.
As the story goes, in the 1930s, Frank Schutt the General Manager of the original Peabody in Memphis, TN, returned from an unsuccessful hunting trip with some pals. The trip found them drinking more than shooting and they thought it was quite funny to leave their live English Call Ducks (it used to be legal to use live ducks as decoys) in the hotel fountain overnight. As serendipity sometimes dictates, the guests loved the new visitors to the hotel and a tradition was born.
A bellman began caring for and training them, and the duck march started gaining popularity and he received his nickname “the Duckmaster.” Today, it’s a prized position, but apparently still less cushy than the jobs the ducks have.
The full story is contained in the video below. For more information, click here.