Silly Geese and Ugly Ducklings

Hello and welcome back to another week of reliably unreliable information here at Factually Deficient! After a three-week foray into the realm of history, I think it’s time I answered another science question.

As such, I would like to address the following question from the incomparable Tohrinha:

What’s the correct way to play Duck Duck Goose?

This is a question that has plagued the human race throughout the ages, and I congratulate you that you have finally asked one of the few people actually able to answer it accurately– I, who have made a lifelong study of ducks and their games, and perhaps the only person still living who has learned directly from a duck how this game is supposed to be played.

First of all, this game can only be properly played in the spring– late March or early April, ideally– when the Canadian Geese are returning from their southern sojourns that took place over the winter. A game of Duck Duck Goose at any other time of the year is mere pantomime, and the players will have to find some way to simulate the actions of the geese.

In order to set up the game, one needs to gather a group of ducks, some other birds of one’s own choosing, and stand with them together in an open field– preferably one where geese are known to frequent, but any field will do if you are confident that your birdcalls will be loud enough.

The participants begin by letting all the birds fly free in the field, requesting of the birds that they fly low enough to run the risk of collisions with people’s heads. Every time a player sees a bird approaching someone’s head, he or she must shout “Duck!” while ducking his or her own head. When this happens, the birds, for their part, will call out loudly, attracting (with any luck) the geese.

When a goose, returning from the winter, approaches, everyone must shout, all together, “Goose!” and dive for the ground while trying to hold a bird carefully but tightly to their chests. Each time a goose lands, everyone not holding a duck is out of the game, until at last there is one winner, and a field full of freshly-arrived geese (not to mention the ducks and all the other birds).

This game is highly enjoyable for everyone involved, ducks, humans, and other birds, and provides the returning gese with a warm and convivial welcome from their winter detainments.


Disclaimer: Many of the assertions in this blog are not entirely accurate. The writer cannot speak for all birds.


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