Tonight's Menu: Semi-Roasted Duck a la Chimney

When a Santa Fe woman heard a bird rustling in her chimney Wednesday, the solution seemed clear: Start a fire.

The intent, according to the Galveston County Daily News, wasn't necessarily to cook the bird, but to convince it to go get some fresh air. Smoke it out of the hole, as it were.

The trouble was the bird in question was a Muscovy duck, a type of bird that can get as big as 15 or so pounds. It wasn't going anywhere.

The covering to the woman's chimney had been blown off by Hurricane Ike, apparently; her name wasn't released, so we don't know if "birds in the chimney" has become a chronic problem for her and the fire-`em-up solution has always worked before.

What we do know is that it didn't work this time.

Here is how Santa Fe fire chief Tommy Anderson described the scene when they arrived about 5 p.m.: "The logs were out of it, and there was no fire at that point. We got the damper open, and a wing was hanging out."

A wing belonging to a no-doubt very confused bird. But a bird who -- through the initiative, courage and can-do spirit of the Santa Fe Fire Department -- found freedom to search out other chimneys in the area.

"Firefighter Jim Cargile put on gloves, reached into the damper, grabbed hold of the duck's legs and moved the wings over to one side, so he could pull him out," Anderson said.

Cargile took the duck outside and released it, and it flew away, Anderson said.

"I don't know who was more scared, Jim or the duck," Anderson said.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly