Much like beloved ‘Sesame Street’ character Ernie, Marion and Noel Burnham are awfully fond of their rubber duckies.
And there is now a hole in their lives where their 15 yellow toy ducks used to be.
For three years, a display sat outside their Parksville home, until someone made off with the duckies last week. Their birds sat in the grey gravel “pond” they made on their front lawn and were a welcome sight for passersby and neighbours alike.
“Alas, last Sunday night this year’s COVID Quackers were stolen from their pond, and already neighbours and kids are asking about them,” wrote the couple in a letter to the NEWS. “How sad it is to report that the ducks, which are of no monetary value, were taken away by someone who likely had absolutely no use for them.”
The Burnhams said they have many great memories with their raft of ducks – including during Christmas.
“The Christmas display is, Baby Jesus is a duck, Mary and Joseph are ducks… they’re all ducks,” said Marion. “We’re just young at heart, I guess.”
The interest in decorating started for the couple after they created their “pond.” A neighbour saw the Burnham’s new lawn decoration and snuck over one night and plopped a toy floatplane on it. Her husband had ALS and was limited to the house, so she wanted to do something fun for him.
“She one night flipped across and put a floatplane on it and sent us an email saying, ‘The Mars bombers have found a new source of water in Parksville,’” said Noel. “So then she took a picture and showed that to her husband and he got all enthusiastic.”
From there, they said it went back and forth for a while with their neighbours. Noel said he was doing some work for them and he hung the floatplane up in their shower before he left and some more teasing ensued before they eventually ended up with their duck pond.
“We kept playing tricks on one another and they kept adding stuff,” said Noel.
The couple are disappointed that someone would take the ducks and although they’re not holding their breath, they do hope their ducks will come swimming back.
“You can hope, can’t you? If they know how much they meant to us and others, too,” said Marion.