Meet Jasper.

Jasper, a cayuga drake - black with shiny green highlights

Jasper lives at my house with 9 of his friends. However, Jasper has a problem - there are only 6 hens versus 4 drakes. It’s unfortunate, but that ratio doesn’t work. You want a ratio of 3:1 or more to keep everyone happy and healthy. There are several options to deal with this and we choose to list Jasper on craigslist. Now, you can’t list the duck for free. That has a single predictable outcome; he’s dinner. We attach a nominal fee and wait with little expectation of finding a taker.

Over two weeks later, we get our first and still only response:

Hi! I was wondering if I could rent your duck for a day. I am willing to pay the full
price for purchase and return him at the end of the day. We will treat him with the
utmost care and follow any guidelines you provide us. We would like to use him to
surprise our friend. He will be constantly monitored. Please let me know if you would be
willing to rent him.

My initial thoughts are rambling and numerous. Is this for real? Are they going to mistakenly wire me thousands of dollars to rent a duck in a scam? Is this person’s friend going to have a transcendental experience like Kristen Bell? How do you come the conclusion that you might find a duck to rent on craigslist?

There is a bit that stands out the most, He will be constantly monitored. It is a little threatening out of context. A farmer once shared with us that the only way to keep goats inside their fence was razor wire and towers with snipers. I’m now imagining that scene with Jasper. Let’s add an ankle monitor to the razor wire and snipers. Just for added safety, you see.

It’s only later that I realize the potential here. Unfortunately, is already owned, though seemingly inactive. Perhaps if the initial VC round closes well, we could pry the domain away from its current owner. I don’t want to count anything before the hatch, but perhaps there’s more than just the surprise-a-friend angle here.

To make a long story end, we won’t be renting Jasper. But if anyone needs a Cayuga drake to add to their flock, I might just have one for you.