“So Three Ducks Walk into a Hotel…”

Why would a duck need a hotel room? In the 1930s Frank Schutt, who ran the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, put 3 live ducks in the fountain in the hotel lobby. Hotel guests thought it was super funny, and an animal trainer trained the ducks to walk to the fountain every morning and back to their pen at night! To this day, the Peabody Ducks do that walk every day on a royal red carpet, stopping along the way to pose for pictures. Luckily, since the ducks live there, they don’t actually have to carry a suitcase.

Wee ones: If there are 5 ducks in the fountain and you jump in to swim with them, how many swimmers in total are there?

Little kids: The Peabody Hotel fountain had turtles and alligators before the ducks showed up. If the fountain had 8 turtles but now has the 5 ducks, were there fewer turtles or ducks?  Bonus: How many fewer ducks than turtles?

Big kids: Today’s ducks aren’t the same ones from 1935. If all Peabody ducks live 8 years and start training when they’re 1 year old, what’s the earliest year today’s ducks could have started marching? (We’re in 2023 right now.)  Bonus: If ducks started marching in 1935, at least how many sets of ducks have marched?


Wee ones: 6 swimmers.

Little kids: Fewer ducks.  Bonus: 3 fewer ducks.

Big kids: In 2016, since at most they started 7 years ago.  Bonus: 13 sets. Ducks can march only 7 years, so even if new ducks start right when old ducks stop, they’d need 13 sets (91 years) to cover the 88 years since 1935. 

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