Okay, by popular (if one request counts as popular) demand, here is more on the ongoing saga of the manic ducks in the park.
I saw them most days last week, and they were content to just come towards me a few steps (except for the aforementioned day when they ran alongside me for a little way). And on Monday somebody was feeding them, so they didn't even bother with me invading their space.
Tuesday, I was walking around the lake again, as I do. This park is south of where I work, and on Tuesday I started out walking southwards along the west side, and then circled around so that I was headed north on the eastern side of the lake--I'd come 3/4 of the way around, in other words. And I moved away from the edge of the lake once I got over to that side, because I've decided that these are birds that need their space. There are some baseball diamonds on the edge of the park, so I headed up towards them.
Not that it worked. These two ducks were swimming around in the water, saw me, started quacking madly, and then got out of the water. But instead of coming directly toward me, they started running forward at an angle, to cut me off from finishing my walk. Not kidding. These are ducks who paid attention in geometry. So, I changed course, to go around behind them (they were quite a way up the bank by now). But they weren't having that, and they swerved around to catch me no matter which direction I went. So I decided that I had upset them enough for one day, and turned around to go back the way I came (my plan being to go around behind the baseball diamonds). This, it turns out, was not my brightest move. I heard a strange rustling noise and looked around just in time to see one of the ducks, wings out, bearing down on the back of my knee. These things had apparently decided that if I didn't have a snack to offer them, they were getting a snack one way or another, and therefore sprinted after me. I jumped out of his way, but not quite far enough, and he grabbed the back of my trousers with his bill. So I now am standing in a public park, with a duck attached to my trousers, trying to get it off of me without hurting it (or me!). The other duck was flapping around right next to me; thank goodness it didn't go for my other leg.
So I swung around, as you do when a 10-pound bird has a death grip on an article of your clothing, and shook him loose. Both of them immediately came after me again, but our little manouevers had put them on the south side of me; they were no longer between me and the office. So I did what any rational adult does when being charged by creatures not one-fourth one's own size: I ran. I was a bit afraid, actually, that they would suddenly remember that they have wings and try to ram me in the back of the head or something like that (at which point I would no longer have been quite so concerned about them being injured, and probably would have started an all-out fight with the mad ducks), but they didn't. However, should I become an Olympic sprinter one day, I will have two really mental ducks to thank for it.
Today, needless to state, I went around behind the baseball diamonds to begin with, and the mad ducks never saw me.