Hapless Harry: The Minnesota Muscovy Duck Documentary
Author: Written and Illustrated by Lisa Loucks Christenson
Publisher: Loucks Studios, Inc.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Nature, Wildlife
Ages: Parental Guidance is suggested due to ending. This is a true nature story.
Summary: A wildlife documentary recorded and documented in the blufflands of southeastern Minnesota about a Muscovy Duck who found his path to the wild and his adventures while here. A true story, a record of a Muscovy Duck's life, documented with photos, illustrations, hand drawn comics, and a written diary of Hapless Harry's journey while on earth by wildlife journalist Lisa Loucks Christenson.
Release: CHANGED PUBLICATION DATE! NEW DATE WILL BE IN 2019
144 pages, with color illustrations, sketches, and actual photos of Hapless Harry). The book will be available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover.
This is the true story of a Muscovy duck. The author named him Hapless Harry because of her concern of his sudden appearance in a slough ––in an area full of apex predators. Hapless Harry could have landed anywhere, unless he was dumped off, but he didn’t. Out of miles of sloughs, pools, oxbows, marshes, rivers the mystery of how Hapless Harry arrived in southeastern Minnesota remains, at least for now, an unsolved mystery.
From the moment the author first noticed him, Hapless Harry's future looked short. His abode, was shared with other wildlife she'd documented: cougars, bears, eagles, hawks, wolves, coyote, mink, otter, several snakes native to southeastern Minnesota–even a couple of mystery snakes. Worse yet, Harry swam in a slough where snapping turtles ranged from 3-4 feet in diameter––turtles who feasted on ducks every spring, especially the young ones. Hapless Harry's name seemed to fit and it stuck.
Once Hapless Harry arrived, he wasted no time building his own private flock of daily visitors––people he entertained with his antics and routines. Hapless Harry found a way to connect with his onlookers, he reached in and mended their broken hearts, gave them reasons to laugh, and in a way that only Hapless Harry could offer––he gave people a reason to come back and visit him again.
No one knows how Hapless Harry arrived. Some people believed he was dumped, others believed it was by chance, and some believe he arrived by divine intervention. However he arrived, one things for sure: a detour in water bodies, a couple miles north and he'd landed on the Mississippi River—and this story wouldn’t have been recorded.
During Hapless Harry's short visit here on earth he taught the author a lot about the human condition, how friends come in all shapes, sizes, and species. All seen and recorded through the eyes of a nature journalist covering her outdoor daily beat, and perhaps, a not-so-lost duck after all.
This is a true story of a Minnesota Muscovy duck. A documentary created as a photo record, a diary, sketch book, and memory book of sorts of our time together. Though it took almost a decade to edit, copyedit, and proof the words the author wrote so long ago––the night their journey ended, the book is ready. No book would be complete, no documentary real, without sharing the feelings she had through the entire journey. The tears she cried over her words after finding Hapless Harry and his life departed.
It took nine years from the author and Hapless Harry's first meeting to the date of this story's release, though it had been scheduled to be released, several times, the author pulled it back because it wasn't the way she wanted him remembered, their final days and the words she wrote were still too painful to edit.
Another year passed before the author created the final cover––one that shows Harry as she observed him, sketched him, and titled a photo of her feather painting of Hapless Harry. A feather from Hapless Harry, one that was clipped or broken off. A gift the author gave to one of Hapless Harry's observers that loved Hapless Harry as much as her.
Finishing the cover finished, reminded the author about the courage from a flightless duck, one whom, without a single flight feather, had the ability to help her release her pain and share these words and his story.
A book the author hopes will continue blessing those who pass by, like they did while Hapless Harry was alive, and give them reason to revisit Hapless Harry: The Minnesota Muscovy Duck Documentary. A true story about a duck who, without a single flight feather––lifted the spirits of others and answered their calls.
"Finally, a story from nature where the underdog fights and wins—a few battles anyway—before their final departure."––Lisa Loucks Christenson