Anas myriadanas

The clusterduck is a waterfowl that is capable of making local, temporary, quantum clones of itself. These quantum ducks are indistinguishable from ordinary ducks, but they randomly come into existence and snuff out of existence.

It appears that the number of quantum ducks is tied to the mental state of the clusterduck. There are more when it is stressed or disturbed, and fewer when it is content. Breeding clusterducks tend not to generate quantum clones, as ducklings imprinting on them are easily confused.

Clusterducks tend to form pair bonds for life, and the drake will generate more quantum clones when his hen is raising ducklings. It is still extremely unclear how food ingested by the quantum clones winds up in the stomach of the clusterduck prime, but extensive lab testing has proven this to be so.

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“Cooper, I want to have a word with you about your essay.”

“Yes, Mrs. Chandler.”

“As you know, the essay was about the causes of World War I, which began one hundred years ago this year.”

“Yes, Mrs. Chandler.”

“And yet you say here in your essay that the war began when the duck of peace was stolen and ended when it was reclaimed.”

“That’s right, Mrs. Chandler.”

“And you don’t see any problem with this? What about the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?”

“Well, as I said in the essay, Mrs. Chandler, he had been given the duck of peace to hold onto and the assassins stole it from him.”

“But how could that be when Austria-Hungary was the first to declare war?”

“The Archduke had left the duck of peace to the King of England, so when he died whoever had it wasn’t the right person.”

“And I suppose that means that all future wars had something to do with this ridiculous duck of yours?”

“That’s right, Mrs. Chandler. World War II started when Germany stole the duck from Poland.”

“How in heaven’s name did it get to Poland?”

“It migrated. That’s what ducks do, after all, Mrs. Chandler!”

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