Meet Smokey, a lovable, sweet, and trusting duck. But that is not the only thing unique about him. His story will give you a boost of faith and inspiration you need to get through anything in life! Watch the video down below!!!
How His Life Began...
It all started when the family found an abandoned baby Wood Duck on their small farm. They figured it needed some baby ducks to be friends with, so they went to Tractor Supply to buy the minimum purchase of 2 baby ducks. A young woman, around the age of 20, named Parker, came over to the duck brooders to grab two ducks and put them in the box. "Let's get 3 ducks," one of the two 11-year-old girls, Ava, pleaded. "You should get 3. It would give you a bigger flock and all," Parker added. Emma, Ava's sister, wanted a 3rd duck also.
The dad, Michael, finally caved in and they brought Smokey home along with the others. When they got home, Ava, Smokey's owner, sat with him on the front porch of familys' cabin in the woods in a rocking chair as Smokey was in her lap. She looked into his innocent little eyes and said, "I am going to name you Smokey." He followed her everywhere, and when he was 5 months old, he was finally big enough to wear a blue mesh harness, a special harness that she had bought for her previous bird that had died, a rooster named Roger, that she loved dearly. That was the day he learned to walk on a harness, and swim on a harness. On her family's property is a large freshwater creek, and she walked him there. Her and Smokey swam together. After Smokey had learned to walk and swim on a harness, she bought him a collar and I.D tag. Since he had a blue harness, she wanted to get him a blue collar. Now the color blue is his signature color. Ava prayed that their bond would become even stronger.
How People Met Him
When he was 6 months old, she took him to his first poultry show, a show held by the Lawrence County Poultry Club in Rotary Park, Tennessee, where he won second place, BV and BB. He had never been seen by any of the people at the poultry show, and no one recognized him from their newly made YouTube channel, Beak N Bill, either.
When he was 1 year old, she took him to his second poultry show, where he won second place in showmanship and first place in exhibition. The showmanship judge for his first contest said that a calm and trusting duck was extremely rare, and he had never seen one. The 3rd poultry show, he competed in showmanship for the second time in his life, where people recognized him as the most trusting and sweet duck anybody had ever seen. The showmanship judge, John Caddo, said that, in his 60 years of life, and 15 years of showmanship judging, Smokey was the most trusting duck he had ever seen. He said he wanted to see Smokey and Ava at poultry shows for many years to come. Smokey laid down in Ava's lap like a cat would, and relaxed in the midst of a busy poultry show with over 300 birds. After that show, Smokey started winning first place in every showmanship contest, and championship in exhibition every time.
When he was 1 and a half years old, he went to his fourth poultry show in March, where Smokey and Ava met John Caddo, their previous showmanship judge, again. He was their showmanship judge this time as well, and Smokey tied first place in showmanship with Emma, Ava's sister's pet hen, Hennifer. A poultry show clerk, Jody, recognized Smokey and the two girls and came over. "I haven't seen y'all since the show about a year ago!" she said with a smile. She leaned down and pet Smokey. "He is the sweetest duck I have ever seen. My ducks always run from me," she said.
A young woman came up to Smokey and Ava. "Hi, it has been a while!" she started with a smile. "How are you and that sweet duck of yours doing?" she asked. Ava had forgotten she had ever met this woman, and didn't recognize her, but played along as if she knew her. "It has been very well. Thank you. God has blessed us all," she answered. She was now 12 years old at the time. An unhappy looking old man walked by, and when he saw Smokey peacefully resting his head on Ava's shoulder, a smile came across his face, and his unhappy look went away. "You must have spent a lot of time with that duck. He is very tame," the man said.
Another woman in her 40s came over. "OH MY GOODNESS!!! Well that is the sweetest duck I have ever seen! Look at him resting his head on your shoulder!" she said with the biggest smile. She walked over to her friend and Ava happened to overhear the conversation. "That duck, he is something," she said. Ava walked by, and heard the woman say, "Oh, there he is. He is so beautiful and charming. Isn't he just dazzling!!!!" Ava stopped and thanked them for their compliments.
Ava watched as several people gathered to his show cage and sat beside him on the floor with their kids, smiling, laughing, and in the most content peace. Smokey's trusting and sweet personality was touching many peoples' hearts in a way that no person could. Ava walked over to John. She pointed to Smokey. "Is he truly show quality. How much do you think I could get for his ducklings?" she asked. John leaned down and took a good look at him. "You could get 25 dollars per duckling. He is good quality. Where did you get him?" he replied. "Tractor Supply," Ava answered. "Tractor Supply? That is rare to get a good show bird from those farm stores," he answered.
One person saw Smokey's story, of how a bird from a farm store grew up to be an extraordinarily trusting duck and a show winner, and she posted about her horse. When she was a teenager, she had owned a horse from a country breeder. Her and the horse were very closely bonded, and the horse won every single horse show she took him to. Smokey reminded the woman in her 60s of her special horse as a teen.
Smokey Changed Their Lives
The duck they were not going to buy changed their lives and touched the lives of others. In the two years that Ava has owned Smokey, they have made countless memories together. One of her mom's friends had been going through a lot of hard times, and when she saw Smokey's video, she said she was bawling like a baby as she watched how God worked through Smokey to touch people and bring joy to the joyless.
Ava and Smokey continue living life doing everything together. They swim at the creek together, do videos on YouTube together, sit with each other under the trees, and make memories. The most beautiful videos are Smokey flying in slow motion! Yes, Smokey can fly as well as a wild mallard, but unlike his other 2 flock mates who flew away, he has stayed at his home farm.
Sometimes your best friends aren't always people. Her best friend outside her family is Smokey, the duck that was unplanned, the duck that God had everything planned for. Smokey was even saved from a hawk by a goose named Gabriel. And just by coincidence, his I.D tag engraving company was named Providence Engraving. Providence means the divine intervention of God. With the way that God has used Smokey for His purpose, we have no idea what the future holds for him. Ducks can live up to 20 years. If all of these wonderful things have happened in just 2 years, what will happen in the next 18 years?
Smokey and Ava will spend hours sitting together in the grass, swimming together, and doing fun things together. Smokey loves taking baths in a wheelbarrow filled with cold water. His favorite duck treat is a treat called Quack Snacks by the Flock Party brand.
Smokey loves getting attention and love from the people who love him. Up above is a picture of Ava's sister, Emma, and Smokey in front of her on the front porch of their cabin 2 years ago.