The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

A Love Letter to Our Duck Residents


Dear Ducks of Bates,

 I cannot begin to imagine how the past century has been for the flock. Next year, the Bates bobcat will celebrate its 100-year anniversary as the official mascot. Since 1924, you have been ignored, silenced, and underappreciated. I remember the first time I heard about this. My heart sunk and I felt a quiver in my lip, or beak if I am using empathy. But to the entire gaggle, I see you and I hear you (which is sometimes hard not to, as the difference between “quack” and scream is lessening). 

According to the Bates Magazine, the bobcat was selected to represent Bates due to its “famous fighting spirit despite its small size”. But, according to my calculations, bobcats on average tend to weigh 26.5 times the average duck. In addition, while I cannot understand duck language, I can tell by the cadence of the quacks that you small, adorable creatures absolutely have the “fighting spirit” that Bates was seemingly seeking. These discontinuities make me question the judgment of the decisions being made by those in power. Are they just a bunch of quacks? 

But ducks, oh ducks, does your community love you? On the days that feel impossible, you give me power to rise. Sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed is thinking about my favorite part of the day: feeding time. From the hours of 4:00-6:00pm, a heavenly scene is born. Covering the grassy plots surrounding the Puddle, ducks galore munching on delicious grass slowly waddling around. But it’s not only me that admires you. One student even said “I wasn’t sure whether or not mythical creatures were real. That was, until I came to Bates. I saw the ducks, and knew the world was full of possibilities greater than my own imagination.” This student requested to keep their identity anonymous. 

But, as they say, hurt ducks hurt people. One thing the bobcat will never do is leave. But, as the temperatures drop, you will. Perhaps this is why the bobcat was chosen to represent Bates, its willingness to persevere. You will leave and trade us, the people who love you, for… the south? This is simply inexcusable. I know what you have faced this past century, but that can’t justify the pain you inflict onto me, onto the whole Bates community, onto the entirety of Maine. 

Now, Bobcats have not only adapted to the cooler climate, but have learned to thrive in it. Have you ever even considered watching the snowfall as you drink hot chocolate and watch Gilmore girls? Have you even tried staying warm with a cute sweater and boots? No. And that’s what stings the most. You haven’t even tried. What the duck? You just leave, but bobcats stay. 

Thankfully, the entire globe is heating up rather rapidly so it’s looking like in a couple years you won’t have to migrate south for the winter! Climate change is clutch. So, maybe you have commitment issues or maybe you genuinely need warmth to survive, either way us bobcats love you. 

Flock, brood, waddle, gaggle, friends, all are the same.

 With love,

A Bobcat at Bates

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