This article is part of our Cocktail Chatter series, where we dive into the wild, weird, and wondrous corners of history to share over a cocktail and impress your friends.
No, there isn’t a punchline coming — this actually happened at a pub across the pond.
Star, a Runner duck owned by Chulmleigh, England local Barrie Hayman, became known around town as something of a local celebrity. Never without his signature bowtie, the duck was known to sneak a sip or two of beer at The Old Courthouse Inn with his owner. Hayman also often brought his dog, Meggie, on these outings. His pets would often push each other’s buttons while sitting bellying up to the bar, and one day, the animals got a little too rowdy after a few rounds. Hayman recounted the incident in a 2015 Facebook post.
“Star pushed his luck too far and Meggie snapped — splitting Star’s bottom beak right down the middle,” Hayman wrote. “He gave her a stare, then promptly stood on her back. It was not pretty and not nice.”
The duck limped away with a broken beak and was promptly brought to a veterinarian. There, Star was put under anesthesia and received stitches. He recovered at home, Hayman writes, and was given appropriate painkillers as his beak healed. (Hayman shared that the two animals forgave each other later that night.)
There’s no word if Star was welcomed back to the dog-friendly pub, but it certainly wasn’t the last time that he made headlines. In 2017, Hayman was allegedly pulled over by police after officers spotted the friendly duck riding shotgun. They remarkably recognized Star from one of his many public appearances, according to Metro. The dapper duck had also been banned from raising money for local charities and was called “irritating,” per the Huffington Post.
Sadly, Star passed away in December 2022. Memories of the beloved duck — including videos showcasing his spunky attitude — remain on his Facebook account.
“Star was a unique duck who brought a lot of joy to so many people,” Hayman wrote. “Hopefully he is still bringing a smile to people’s faces with the memories it stirs from those who met him.”