Gandhi The Interpreter

A history of Indian Ducks: Famous Ducks of History


Great Leader


Mahandas Gandhi was a truly great Indian political and spiritual leader who lived from 1869 – 1948.  Mr. Gandhi is known for his non-violent political philosophy and teachings—something this author dearly wishes those now struggling for democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere might fully embrace.  Yet our work today is less about a great leader of men and more about his source of inspiration.  Have a guess who that might be?  If you need a clue, think duck.


Gandhi is often referred to as Mahatma Gandhi.  Mahatma is a title meaning “Great Soul”.  In India he is also called Bapu, meaning Father, a name given affectionately for his role fathering the nation of India.  In fact, for those who study either the history of humans or famous ducks, Mahatma Gandhi stands out as an example to be emulated.



Now, as the pre-eminent and perhaps only famous duck historian of our time, if I may be so bold as to fault Mr. Gandhi for anything, it was only in his failure to attribute many of his most famous quotes to the source of his inspiration: Mahandydandy Gandhiduck who is pictured below.


M. Gandi's inspiration?


Wannabe Leader


Mahandydandy Gandhiduck was a less-than-famous Indian duck and wannabe political and spiritual leader, who just so happened to live at the exact same time as Mahatma Gandhi (i.e. 1869-1948).  And, unbeknownst to Mr. Gandhiduck, who spent his life fighting for the civil rights of all Trans-species avians, Mr. Gandhi was a secret admirer who often sat in on Mr. Gandhiduck’s lectures at the South African Beleaguered-Loons-Who-Would-Be-Ducks Institute.


Students of history may recall that Mr. Gandhi started his career as a lawyer fighting for civil rights in South Africa.  What they don’t know, but are about to find out is that Mahandydandy Gandhiduck was the source of Mr. Gandhi’s early inspiration for his “inspired” struggle to bring civil rights and greater freedoms to the peoples of the world.  For those interested in the complete story see my soon to be published 6,241 page treatise on the life of Mr. Gandhiduck.




If one were to gloss over my findings, I suppose they could conceivably argue that the human Mr. Gandhi might have been but a footnote in history had he never run across Mr. Gandhiduck.  This unfortunately would bypass another quack of fate, as it were.  You see, the real reason that the former became famous and the latter was doomed to a live a life of anonymity is that Mr. Gandhi was both a great listener and interpreter of word and Mr. Gandhiduck suffered from a severe form of blabberblubberquacky mouth syndrome (a.k.a. BBQ disease).


BBQ disease is still a largely unknown (and all too common) condition, which leaves its sufferers largely unable to form a complete sentence without running on and on.  Indeed, for the BBQs, an articulate thought or phrase is a truly rare event—one that only occurs if properly “sauced” (if you get my drift).


The Interpreter In Action


To his credit, Mr. Gandhi’s remarkably ability to sum up and interpret Mr. Gandhiduck’s meaning was a skill unto itself.  Yet, as a duck historian, it pains me to point out that some (if not a number) of the sayings frequently attributed to Mr. Gandhi for being his original work are in actuality just a more fluent and articulate version of the very same phrases first uttered by Mr. Gandhiduck.  I offer a number of examples to demonstrate my point:


Example #1 – Inner Peace


Mahandydandy Gandhiduck – From his “Potato Lecture”


“For as short or long a time you can manage it (even it be a the merest fraction of second), take whatever help and comfort you can find in any possession, or beast (either of burden, or of soft fluffy feather, or multi-hued fur), or take comfort from any relationship (serious or casual, whether it be cross-cultural, multi-racial, or just one of the gang), or from any idle, or pleasant, or basically not-so-bad dream, so as to soothe the innermost part of thyself, and then may you protect the feeling so gained by mentally tucking it deep it into the weave of your inner nest or just below the elastic of your frightfully exotic underwear, as if it were the thread that holds all of the bounty and beauty of life together, thus to hang onto aforesaid feeling like a precious egg that is fated to be a young hatchling.”


Or as succinctly summed by Mahatma Gandhi


“As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.”


Example #2 – Sin


Mahandydandy Gandhiduck – From his first book, “Musings Of A Teenage Grasshopper On Steroids”


“Care not for no-nos and things which shall forever be considered naughty, yet rejoice in those who know how to put on a good party, or for those who would dance and shout from the tallest roof tops in the kingdom, be it Monday afternoon at the mall or late Sunday night at the movies.”

Mahatma Gandhi glibly shortened this one to:


“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”


Example #3 – Equality


Mahandydandy Gandhiduck –  From “The Incident: The Interview I’d Really Rather Forget”:


“I believe in inequality for reporters, photographers, bloggers, paparazzi, tabloid journalists and corporate pimps, meaning they should be considered as outcasts and scorned for the outrageous lies they propagate in the media.”

Mahatma Gandhi’s succinct reprise:


“I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”


Example #4 – Self Worth


Mahandydandy Gandhiduck – From his song, “Reflections on My Tail Feathers”:


“Though the things you may do at some point or another in your life, or may do even in the hereinafter, or may do in the hereinafter after that, though these things may not seem to be of importance to you, or any of your close friends, beloved family, and especially your worst enemies, think not of the insignificance of such things in the larger scheme of the universe, or of being relegated to a minor “Redshirt” role in Star Trek, but consider it your duty to strive to do these things, small as they may be, in most profound grace, style and with a sense of excellence.”

Mahatma Gandhi with a short and snappy summation:


“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”


Example #5 – Invincibility


Mahandydandy Gandhiduck – From his award winning dark comic series, “Bartablaster The Menace”:


“Though a duck may be a very, very, very bad duck indeed, a duck without a thread of moral fiber, a duck without an ounce or shred of decency or compassion, though a duck may thus be disliked for that which he is, despair not that the wee ones shall also suffer by deed of said horrific duck, for even the most foul, the most devious, the most despised among us, shall ultimately run up against the clock of life and fall deader than a doornail.  This is not only true now, but was true throughout history and shall forevermore be true throughout time.”

Mahatma Gandhi paraphrasing:


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.”


Example #6 – Revenge


Mahandydandy Gandhiduck- “The Salt and Pepper” Speech:


“Should I pullest thy feather free of thine gluteus maximus, and should you in turn pull upon my feathers in revenge, then the ensuing battle shall become one the greatest of pluckings throughout history, whereby further damage and injury to all body parts including eyeballs, beak and flippers shall be impossible to prevent.  In such an occurrence the fallout becomes that which is impossible to contain and may thus generate additional suffering from those innocent bystanders who had the misfortune to stand by in innocence, such that before we know quite how it happened, every one of them, plus every duck and critter around will stand, sit or have fallen in shame, all naked, shivering, and toothless.”

Or after a single round of Mahatma Gandhi’s sharp-witted editing:


“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”


Example #7 – War


Mahandydandy Gandhiduck from his “Lobbing a Buttered Biscuit Poem”:


“Though I believe in many great and small causes that I might stand up and march for, and thus, though I would suffer the consequence of exercising my right to quack loud and strong over them, there are no such causes I shall ever find sufficient to justify the extinguishment of all thought in the manner of which I am speaking, or to force my will upon another to the point they fall over, clutch at their heart, and gasp out their last dying breath like this…ah…ah…ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

Mahatma Gandhi aptly rephrased this one as:


“There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.”

Poor, poor Mahandydandy Gandhiduck!  How great a duck you might have been if not for the BBQ!

For other startling duck history, see our:
Famous Ducks Of History page.


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