St Albans pub goes quackers over Crispy the duck’s return

PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 August 2010

Crisy with Landlady Gail Payne.

Crisy with Landlady Gail Payne.


A DUCK hand-reared by a St Albans landlady has waddled back into her pub two years after flying the nest.

Gail Payne, who owns The Black Lion Inn in Fishpool Street, rescued a lost duckling back in 2008 after she found her stranded on a high wall too frightened to jump off and follow her mum and siblings.

She was unable to reunite the duckling with her family and so decided to take her in and ended up looking after her for more than a year. Named Crispy, the little quacker became a popular attraction among the pub’s regulars as she grew into an adult duck.

Gail said: “We used to take her down the park as a tiny little duckling and we put her in the lake as we didn’t think it was right for her to not know about other ducks, then we used to carry her back around to the pub. As she got older she used to fly to the park herself and then back again in the evening, and one day she just never came back.”

But Gail was stunned on Sunday when Crispy waddled back through the door of the pub after following some hotel guests in.

She knew immediately that she was the same duck. Gail continued: “We can tell just by her traits. She always flies to the front door of reception and sits there every morning at 7am like she used to. And she waddles around the pub then settles down, but if she doesn’t get enough attention she makes an awful row.”

And Crispy isn’t showing any signs of upping sticks again just yet, keeping quite content entertaining the customers.

She isn’t the first duck to call The Black Lion Inn home – a year before her arrival Gail became an adoptive mum to 10 orphaned ducklings which were hatched and reared at the pub after their mother was killed by a car, leaving her eggs in a neighbour’s garden.

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