Neighbor's good-natured prank creates 'duck pond' in Rochester

Mar 10, 2018

A large flock of rubber duckies has taken shelter at the home of one Rochester family.

The "Bejtlich Duck Pond" is shared by ducks of all colors; zebra ducks, purple ducks, ducks in safari hats, ducks with flame motifs on their wings—even a large group of rubber ducklings.

The pond is the result of a good-natured neighborly prank, said mastermind DJ Wright.

Wright said that neighbor Mike Bejtlich, whose property lies behind his, had said that snowmelt and consistent rain made it appear that a duck pond was forming at the front of his property.

Sensing an opportunity, Wright and his daughter took a quick detour to the Walmart in Wareham, and bought out the store's rubber ducky population. "We ended up with over a hundred of them," he laughed.

Under the cover of darkness, Wright and his daughter, along with the aid of fellow neighbors Mike and Donna Blanchard, placed the rubber ducks in the "ponds" at the edge of Bejtlichs' property.

Then, with the pranksters watching with glee from the Blanchard's porch, Mike Blanchard called Bejtlich, and told them that a flock of ducks had taken shelter on the forming pond.

Bejtlich went outside to find the ducks, "but of course he couldn't find them," Wright said. "We were all watching this take place, trying to keep our laughter quiet."

The next morning, the Blanchard told Bejtlich that the ducks were still around. "When he finally found them, it was a laugh for everyone," Wright continued.

While originally, the ponds were populated only by adult rubber duckys, the Bejtlich and wife Jan returned home a few days later to find a large flock of rubber ducklings had joined the adults.

Not long after that, a sign appeared, designed by Blanchard's daughter Audrey: 
"Bejtlich Duck Pond—Caution!"

The sign was removed before the recent nor'easter, but the ducks remain, and are as cheerful as ever, mostly unharmed by the strong winds and falling trees.

"You gotta love great neighbors who can turn a negative into a positive," Wright said.