Helen A. Duck graces annual Buck Creek festivities

Helen A. Duck at First Friday in May with, left to right, Stephanie LeSueur, Tracy Ensminger and Tammy Hogue. Here, HHS student Allysa Dixon is costumed as Helen; at BCF Chase LeSueur did the honors. (Contributed)

Helen A. Duck at First Friday in May with, left to right, Stephanie LeSueur, Tracy Ensminger and Tammy Hogue. Here, HHS student Allysa Dixon is costumed as Helen; at BCF Chase LeSueur did the honors. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

By the time you are reading this, Helen A. Duck will have once again proudly encouraged the pilgrimage over the dam at Buck Creek for the some 2,500 ducks that she trained for this year’s Buck Creek Festival.

Helen A. Duck has made special television appearances promoting the festival in recent years with Helena’s weatherman Brian A. Peters pantomiming duck enthusiasm behind councilwoman Cris Nelson.

Local stained glass craftsman David Schlueter also donned the costume in past years.

Helena A. Duck was seen at the 2015 Helena First Friday events, where Helena Belles have made early sales of $5 duck entries.

Helen A. Duck and her rubber duck entourage toured Joe Tucker Park earlier in the week, where they enjoyed conversation and breadcrumbs with the many native ducks that consider the lake their home.

Overheard tidbits of conversation included these remarks.

“Helen A. Duck, how do you feel when your ducklings take that plunge over the dam?”

“Helen A. Duck, what do you really think about those duck wranglers?”

“Helen A. Duck, do you remember the The Great Duck Escapade in 2004 when some 200 ducks were not wrangled and continued merrily on down Buck Creek?”

“Did you ever hear from any of them again, Helen?”

“Helen A. Duck, do you have nightmares about the noise of the cannon firing?”

“Helen A. Duck, will you sing Elmo’s Rubber Ducky Song with us?”

“Helen A. Duck, what big eyes you have,” piped up the white Crested Head duck.

“Helen A. Duck,” said one Muscovy duck, “We don’t mean to be insulting, but we think you might want to invest in a better eyelash curler.”

“But you know, Helen A. Duck, when you come out and chat with us, it’s kind of like when Bo Bice makes a return appearance in Helena. So exciting! And sometimes you just quack us up!”

“Helen A. Duck,” added one wise and elderly goose, “never forget that we worship the ground you walk on, as your presence helps raise proceeds for Safe House, scholarships for HHS students and contributes to beneficial community projects.”