Hi again, friends. I have been on hiatus from the Mercury for three months working on a book.

But now I am back! Just in time to break wide open the news of Laurelhurst Park's mutant duck pond. The tiny son of our art director, Scrappers, posed this morning with a sign warning visitors to the park.

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Portland Parks spokesman Mark Ross is mum on the matter. "Couldn’t tell you where it came from!" writes Ross, of the sign. "While we are fortunate to not have any reports of mutant waterfowl, Portland Parks & Recreation does ask that parkgoers NOT feed the ducks or geese. They are wild birds and learning to rely on humans for food can be detrimental to them. (Plus, we would hate to be faced with mutant ducks. Remember what happened to those cute little Mogwais in the movie Gremlins.)"