The Thieving Duck

A duck robs a poor innocent woman as she’s distracted by the cute ducklings. Moments later they all rush off with their ill-gotten gains!

What you don’t see is the camera crew, make-up and lighting people and a small crowd watching from behind them. This was for some advert and of course the woman in question is a model.
I shot this on State Street, Chicago after stumbling upon the shoot by accident. They didn’t seem to mind, and I even got a dazzling smile from the model!

I like this: xtreme (login may be required)

2006-10-03 – Welcome visitors from snopes.com, thanks Kathy B for linking here, I appreciate it. Please feel free to leave a comment!

Snopes.com have now published this picture and the joke description on a separate page linking to this blog. Thank you!

2006-10-07 – John Marguess pointed me at Organized Crime which uses the same image in another joke email! Thanks John!

Here’s the text of the joke email (via snopes) for those of you who go searching for the origins of it. I’d love to know who concocted it in the first place!

Seems the Better Business Bureau got a complaint the other day about a scam in which AFLAC allegedly was taking advantage of women on the street and stealing their money.
Now we all at one time or another have thought that INSURANCE Companies have stolen from us; however, this scam is netting COLD HARD CASH from unsuspecting individuals.
The way it works is the thief uses children to distract the target. While admiring the cuteness of the kids the target is robbed of her cash and never knows what hit her.
I’m sending this out for all to be aware that this is happening and it’s right out on the streets in front of the general public.
A passer-by with a digital camera phone happened to capture the photo attached.
Review it carefully and use caution when distractions like this come along.
Good Luck, and don’t say you weren’t warned.

According to Snopes, it was an advert showing how safe Western Union money transfer system was. I really should have asked someone..


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76 Comments

  1. Flickr: corksurf Reply

    corksurf has posted a comment:

    Brilliant shot Donncha! Very Funny!

    You shouldn’t have mentioned the camera crew :)

    The Thieving Duck

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157594248149628

  2. Flickr: C Ray Dancer Reply
  3. Flickr: jdiazpdemadrid Reply

    jdiazpdemadrid has posted a comment:

    fantastic shot and very funny too.

    1-2-3

    The Thieving Duck

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157594248200581

  4. Flickr: crabbygobyebye Reply
  5. Flickr: Parallax1 Reply
  6. Flickr: **sadi** Reply
  7. Flickr: Tex Flix Reply

    Tex Flix has posted a comment:

    This is hilarious! Nicely seen and captured.

    From 1-2-3

    The Thieving Duck

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157594248270333

  8. micki Reply

    A fine catch! You were certainly in the right place at the right time.

    http://shutterbugunderexposed.blogspot.com/

  9. Duck Reply

    Another example of the superiority of ducks.

    http://beaverandduck.blogspot.com/

  10. Donal Reply

    Great shot. Think you showed me this one ages back. How you putting your Flickr comments here? I like the idea of removing the date in the post title, probably not possible on WordPress for me. Plus, you have to be careful not have two identical titles.

    http://donal.wordpress.com

  11. Donncha Reply

    Donal – I think I did show you it. It’s been sitting on my computer since last year, and I processed it last February!

    The idea of merging Flickr comments into my blog came to me last night and I was up until all hours working on a plugin that grabs the “Latest Activity” rss feed from my Flickr stream and inserts them into my comments table. It works quite well, although it’ll have limited use because it’s so specialised. The image on Flickr has to have the same title as the post here, and it won’t update a comment if someone updates it on Flickr.
    Expect a release in a few days time, but unfortunately not something we’ll put on wordpress.com!

    http://inphotos.org/

  12. Matty Reply

    I love the photo. I trying to work out what the advert what was for. Some sort of Bird Flu awareness thing? “It won’t just cost your life. It’ll cost you cash!” Always a good way of scaring people.

    http://sadoldtosser.wordpress.com

  13. Matty Reply

    I’ll try again. I love the photo. I’m trying to work out what the advert was for……

    http://sadoldtosser.wordpress.com

  14. Flickr: *_spike [experiment] Reply
  15. Flickr: umar.s Reply

    umar.s has posted a comment:

    haha… thats cool.

    if you hadn’t described the setting, i’d have thought this was real.

    321

    The Thieving Duck

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157594248632138

  16. Flickr: ♫ marc_l’esperance Reply
  17. Flickr: Prasangam Reply
  18. Flickr: Árni Svanur Reply
  19. Flickr: ~ Cati Kaoe ~ Reply

    ~ Cati Kaoe ~ has posted a comment:

    hahaha LOL!

    We can trust in ducks anymore..

    FT

    The Thieving Duck

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157594248995552

  20. Flickr: AprilDreams Reply
  21. Flickr: chromachord Reply
  22. Flickr: Yago J Veith Reply
  23. Brian Reply
  24. Flickr: robigouk Reply

    robigouk has posted a comment:

    Caught in the quack.. I mean act!!!

    The Thieving Duck

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157594251037777

  25. Flickr: Dr Tao (j’�tais en vacances) Reply
  26. Pingback : ..
  27. Gibbie Reply

    Looks like I’ve made it. One of my photos was used on the snopes.com messageboard without linking back to me or crediting me. I shouldn’t be surprised I suppose, but I am a little angry at the original poster. Thankfully someone linked to it further down in the conversation.

    That would be because someone has scraped the photo out of your blog and has started sending it around the internet. Which would be why it appeared on snopes looking for verification. Congrats! You’re about to be an internet phenome. Your duckies are going to pop up for years. :)

  28. Donncha Reply

    Wow, so my photo is being sent about the place by email? Didn’t know that!

    Four Kitties – I’m not mad at snopes specifically. I had never heard of snopes.com before this. I didn’t know that my photo was being used in an email. Makes me wish I had watermarked the image now.

    http://inphotos.org/

  29. Donncha Reply

    Oh, and read my about page, I’m a guy :)

    http://inphotos.org/

  30. Grey Reply

    Don’t feel bad about not watermarking it. Thanks to Snopes, anyone who cares is going to know where it came from. That’s what led me here.

  31. Donncha Reply

    Thanks for pointing that out Grey, I hadn’t thought of that! Thanks Snopes for publishing it, and thank you again Kathy B for linking here!

    http://inphotos.org/

  32. pixelmeow Reply

    Love Snopes, I have it on my Google home page, and this story’s headline is up today. Love the picture!

  33. MH Reply

    Forwarded photo with snope description to my local email jokemaster – so now at least another hundred people will see it.

  34. Holly Reply

    Great, great photo op. It’s amazing how people can fall for pranks like that. But ya know, why else do they put “Do not touch iron when hot!” warnings on things? Anyhoots, great pic.

  35. erutan Reply

    Aww- Wanted it to be real. Great photo.
    erutan

  36. Balmark Reply

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/advertisements/duckthief.asp

    :) Donncha, your photo is part of an urban legend :D heh

  37. mongoose Reply

    I havn’t seen this one circulating through my emails yet but I am sure I will lol
    I found it searching through snopes looking for Nigerian scams using Western Union as a means to
    obtain thier booty. Funny that this should turn out to be an ad for Wstern Union saying how secure they are.
    I always do my homework when it comes to scams!
    Anyone ever hear the addage: Did you ever try to milk a duck? hehehe
    By the way Donncha, you are an excellant photographer!

  38. katie lucas Reply

    this is hilarious and cute this is my new fav. website besides addicting games.com so thanx’s!

    http://comcast

  39. ft lauderdale photographer Reply

    This photo is great! I didn’t expect a duck to be a thieving animal. A raccoon yes, duck no:) Must be a New York duck!

    http://www.daniellesphotography.com

  40. gsm Reply

    First thought was they trained it to do that, mind me that ducks can’t be trained. Unlike other pets who can re-act or respond to certain behavior.

    http://gsm_vindhier.com/

  41. Flickr: compujeramey Reply
  42. Rob – web page tools Reply

    I found using wordpress to design my web sites a great time saver and with plugins for automatic sitemap generation and SEO optimisaion and easy changing of themes its such a web design time saver. If fact i just made a template from the theme im currently using and after veiwing the souce code i just saved as html and with a bit of copy and pasting moved all the content on my older html pages to the new template now my older pages all look the same as the blog template. On a new site this isnt a problem but this one has been around a while before i used wordpress. Still have a load of article pages to move over but i should be able to automate some of it with a few block text replacer programs i have. Hope to try out a flickr plugin soon to add some photoshop video tutorials.

    http://www.coolwebpagetools.com/blog/index.php

  43. Flickr: The Consumerist Reply

    The Consumerist has posted a comment:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Consumerist.com, and we’d love to have your photo added to the group. Bear in mind that doing so releases the photo for use on Consumerist.com, read our About to learn more.

    The Thieving Duck

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157594572767731

  44. John Reply
  45. Flickr: foolswisdom Reply

    foolswisdom has posted a comment:

    Lucky stumble, fun photo. Anyone know what the commercial is?

    The Thieving Duck

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157600040402091

  46. Goozak Reply

    This picture was featured on the Cute Overload web site. I found your page through a Google search that sent me to Snopes’ page.

    http://mfrost.typepad.com/cute_overload/2007/03/most_sentaround.html

  47. Pingback : ..
  48. Leice Reply

    This was too funny! Staged or not, it is hilarious. I mean, for this duck to be trained enough to do this act is unbelievable (that is, if ducks can be trained!)

    http://inphotos.org/the-thieving-duck/

  49. Dianna Reply

    Darling picture. Too cute to be true, then I looked at the ducks feet. Aww, so that’s how they got the ducks to pose. They’re stuffed!

    http://cuteoverload

  50. Andrine Reply

    Hi – I posted this at zefrank.org due to his affinity for ducks and their antics. Someone credited you as I didn’t know the author of the photo. Please let me know if you would like me to take it down.

  51. Anonymous Reply

    Funny, but the babies look like gosslings

  52. Flickr: spudart Reply

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Chicago animals that are native to chicago, and we’d love to have your photo added to the group.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157600158788566

  53. Flickr: seawallrunner Reply

    oh this is great! Saw it on the Consumerist this morning.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/#comment72157600292289644

  54. Flickr: seawallrunner Reply

    oh this is great! Saw it on the Consumerist this morning.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/comment72157600292289644

  55. Flickr: DjMagra Reply
  56. Flickr: xeer Reply

    DjMagra – yeah, they asked. See the comment from them a few comments above? There was an uproar about them using images with crediting photographers but they got such a response they did the right thing and provided credit!
    Besides, I can’t sell the image. That model didn’t sign a model release form..

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/comment72157600296167206

  57. Pingback : ..
  58. Ricky Reply

    It was in the News of the World supplement last Sunday.

  59. Flickr: BillyWarhol Reply

    wow*

    nice steal*


    Seen on inphotos.org (?)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/comment72157600361085079

  60. Pingback : Electric Wires
  61. Flickr: ѕноᴋу вѕвѕ Reply
  62. Flickr: plaviplanet Reply

    now that ive seen this, i remember some cash missing last week, and there were some ducks around… hmmm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donncha/222686138/comment72157612583789195

  63. Flickr: Mick h 51 Reply
  64. Peter Lindquist Reply

    Hey the model here looks like Jessica Cutler, isn’t she gorgeous

    http://pacificpetes.com

  65. Ricky Reply

    This picture appears in the ‘Irish Sun’ today.

    http://www.myspace.com/5godowntothesea

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