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StorybyroSeNigroilluStratioNSbytomH.JoHNREEVESBAYPRESSFLANDERSNEWYORK ADucksTailtellsthestoryofTheBigDuckwhichsitsinFlandersahamletofSouthamptonNewYork.ThestoryisabitfracturedandIhopeyouandthechildreninyourliveswillenjoythisversion.TheBigDuckisreallyBIG.Shestandstwentyfeettallfteenfeetwideandthirtyfeetlong.Madeofreinforcedconcretesheweighstentons.HereyesaretaillightssalvagedfromaFordModelT.Builtin1931byaRiverheadduckfarmernamedMartinMauerTheBigDuckhasbeenmovedseveraltimes.In1988shehadtobemovedfromhernestnearmyhomeinFlanderstomakeroomforaproposedhousingdevelopment.ShewasmovedtoasmallpatchofPineBarrenslanddowntheroadandattheedgeoftown.ThehomeswereneverbuiltandeventuallythankstotheeffortsofseveralcommunitygroupstheCountyofSuffolkandtheTownofSouthamptonTheBigDuckwasmovedbacktoherfarminFlanders.ButthisisalsoastoryaboutpeoplePeoplewhowantedsomethingdonemadeaplanandworkedwiththeirlocalgovernmenttobringittofruition.TheBigDuckisnowontheNationalRegisterofHistoricPlacesandisoneofLongIslandsmostfamousandadorablelandmarks.Thegiftshopinsideisopensevendaysaweek.RestoredbarnsonBigDuckRanchcontainexhibitsonLongIslandduckfarming.Behindherarelovelyviewsofourcherishedwetlandsbaysandsanctuaries.RoseNigro HaveyouheardthestoryItsbeenwhisperedfarandwideTheresaDuckinFlandersItssobigyoucanwalkinside TherewasthisfarmerhehadawifeHedbeenafarmerallhislifeHehadaspecialfarmyouseeDidntgrowsweetpotatoesnotevenbroccoliDidntraisecluckenchickensOrroostersthatgocock-a-doodle-dooHeraisedprettywhitequackingducksAndperhapsaswanortwo HehadalittlefarmstandonthesideoftheroadTherehesoldhisducksandkepttheplacewellmowedSometimespeoplewouldstopbytolookandsayHeyButtherewerenttoomanyvisitorsnomatterthedayMostfolkslookedrightpastitthissmallhumblestandItwasnotverybigandinfactratherbland TheyjustdrovebyintheirfastfancycarsandgreatbigtrucksThefarmerwouldjustsighandgobacktotendinghisducks CameahorriblewinterandacresofdriftingsnowSaidthefarmertohiswifeHoneygetinthecarletsgoWelljustkeepdrivingtoseewhatweseeTheynallystoppedtravellingWhentheyreachedCal-a-forn-i-eTheretheysawbeacheswarmedbythesunLotsofpeopleoutwalkingorgoingforarunTheystoppedatafoodstandOrderedacupofcoeeandayummysamoreWhentheynoticedthatthestandhadlinesoutthedoorWhyaretheysobusyWhatcanitbeTheytookagoodlookandexclaimedOhWoweeItgavethemanideaTheydputinplaceSotheyjumpedintheircarBacktoFlanderstheyraced.WewillbuildanewduckstandWewillmakeitsobigyouwontseetothetopItllcatcheveryonesattentionTheneveryonewillstop SotheyplannedandtheybuiltThentheybuiltabitmoreShewasfnallycompleteWhentheyputinthefrontdoorHertailwastallandproudWingsstrongandwideTheduckwassobigYoucouldwalkrightinsideHereyestheyjustgleamedTheyglowedredandbrightWhenthesunsetYoucouldseeheratnight ComeseeournewduckstandCalledouttheproudfarmerWethinksheslovelyandquitethebigcharmerForthepeopleofFlandersitwasloveatfrstsightTheydancedallaroundherthenhuggedhersotightTheBigDuckwassohappyShethoughtshecouldyButinsteadhertailstoodstraightupPointingtothesky