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Letters: Fish And Ducks

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Now we turn to your comments about our program.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And we've been getting a lot of them about yesterday's story from Linesville, Pennsylvania. Linesville says its spillway is the second most popular tourist attraction in Pennsylvania after the Liberty Bell. At that spillway, a mass of carp and mallard ducks fight over bites of Wonder Bread thrown by tourists. It's known as the place where ducks walk on the fish.

SIEGEL: Our story was about plans to end this tradition of feeding the animals. And it featured not only local voices, but an original song.

(Soundbite of song "Bread in the Water")

Mr. TIM FITE: (Singing) Grandma, Grandma Where's this river at? You know the one Where ducks be walking On the fishes back. Grandpa said I can have a piece of bread To break in little bits and throw it, Throw it over the edge

(Soundbite of people at the spillway)

Unidentified Child #1: There you go fishes.

Unidentified Man: And they just try and suck it all in.

Unidentified Child #2: I like to watch them fight.

Unidentified Man: And they're fighting over it. And then the ducks just walk on top of the fish because they're trying to get a piece of bread, grab it, and keep right on moving.

Unidentified Child #2: Whoa, Daddy.

BLOCK: Charles Tushling(ph) posted a comment on our Web site thanking us for the story. He calls it a lighthearted story that carried a heavier message about how people in power really blow it sometimes. It really cracked me up. And the song is absolutely brilliant. After this year, I needed the laugh.

SIEGEL: Well, many listeners agreed with Mr. Tushling's praise. But this email from Thomas Larson of Minneapolis also reflects a lot of comments we received. Mr. Larson writes, the tiniest of snippets of the reggae fishy bready lesson don't be happy, be worried song were bearable. But mining it for every last word and weak redundant sentiment had me gritting my teeth long before this tapeworm of a story finally slipped away for good. This one gets my vote for this year's most shining example of All Things Belabored.

BLOCK: Thanks for letting us know what you think. You can post comments below our stories at npr.org, or you can click on contact us at the top of the home page and send us a message. Either way, please make sure to tell us where you live and how you pronounce your name.

(Soundbite of song "Bread in the Water")

Mr. FITE: (Singing) In that town where ducks won't go fishing, Fa la la They're trying to put bread out of business. Fa la la ta ta But if we could sleep with a mission(ph). Fa la la ta ta Grandpa said I could have a piece of bread To break in little bits and throw it, Throw it over the edge.

SIEGEL: This is NPR, National Public Radio. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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