England’s pub scene is central in their culture, to the point where you’d be hard pressed to find a neighborhood without a “local.” In Eastleigh, Devon, one tavern provides a warm welcome to all who need it. Even the lonely web-footed folk.
Back in 2011, 65-year-old duck breeder Barrie Hayman noticed that one of his Indian Runner fledglings was having a tough go of it—shunned by his mates and brutally bullied when he tried to mingle. Hayman did what any softhearted old fellow would, and rescued the little fella, taking him under his wing and naming him “Star.”
Since then, the pair have been inseparable, with Star taking it upon himself to act as Hayman’s permanent wingman, even when he ventured to The Old Courthouse tavern for a pint. Generous sort that he is, Hayman eventually started sharing his beer with his bird, and a local legend was born. Things have been going swimmingly for the dapper duo—Star gussies up with a bow tie for his trips to the bar, which is accentuated by his breed’s predisposition to standing upright like a penguin would—with one exception.
After over tossing back a pint recently, the belligerent bird starting pecking at Maggie, Hayman’s dog, who also frequents The Old Courthouse. Maggie was having none of it, and a battle royal ensued, leaving Star with a split beak, after which the wounded warrior jumped up and sat on the dog’s back. Luckily, a trip to the vet sorted it all out, and things are back to, err, normal in the little town.