The intruders were already in James Prettyman’s house watching on when their presence disturbed him. The homeowner had been so distracted by his computer that he hadn’t realized he had company. Prettyman then raised his head and saw the trespassers just as they opened their mouths.
Knowing someone has been in your house without permission is more than just an invasion of privacy. It makes you feel unsafe and can lead to damage to your property or loss of belongings. In extreme scenarios, the outcome can be even worse.
If you talk to older generations, they might tell you how they used to leave their doors unlocked. But was there ever a time when you could do so without fear of unwanted trespassers? Well, it actually depends on the area that you live in.
In fact, although it’s not recommended, some people do still feel safe enough to leave doors open. Whether it’s their house or car doors, there are those who don’t fear for their property. But for the most part, this isn’t the case in the current social climate.
The HuffPost and YouGov actually investigated the matter and came up with some figures. Apparently, of the Americans who took part in the research, just 7 percent left their doors unlocked. Of this small number, only 12 percent of non-lockers were in the senior demographic.
Of course, when you think of home invaders, it’s only natural that humans spring to mind. But there are any number of animals that could get into a house as well. That’s especially true if the front door’s left ajar rather than simply being unlocked.
Some animals are more likely to avoid humans rather than enter their homes, but there are exceptions. Creatures searching for food, such as racoons or opossums, are common intruders that might require professional extraction. There are other more surprising offenders, too.
It was one of this latter category of uninvited guests that James Prettyman discovered in his living room. Prettyman was in his Washington home, which is situated by John Sam Lake, when he had an unusual encounter. No doubt it came as quite a surprise to him.
The presence of the intruders was a result of Prettyman leaving his front door open. Whether he’s part of the 7 percent of non-lockers or if he just forgot to close it is anyone’s guess. Regardless, Prettyman didn’t even notice he had company at first.
During an interview with The Dodo in July 2017, Prettyman revealed how his guests had taken him by surprise. “I was sitting there, doing all my bills, with all these file folders laid out, working on my computer,” the homeowner recounted. Then a loud noise distracted him.
“And all of a sudden I hear this ‘quack, quack,’” Prettyman continued. He was taken aback, and even more so when he noticed some wayward waterfowl staring back at him. But it wasn’t just one duck that had invited itself into Prettyman’s living room.
Apparently, a momma duck had squeezed through Prettyman’s partially open front door with all her ducklings in tow. Then they settled down next to the sofa and waited politely for Prettyman to notice them. Perhaps the quack was the duck version of a polite cough?
It was such an unusual encounter, in fact, that Prettyman reached for his camera and filmed his new feathered friends. The footage reveals how the homeowner’s visitors decide they’ve worn out their welcome and waddle off. But they go in the wrong direction and head for another room.
As Prettyman follows the ducks, you can hear him attempting to deter them from exploring. And his outburst of “No, no, no, no, no” actually seems to work. The ducks take a peek through the door and then change their minds about going through.
The ducks head off in the opposite direction instead and loop round through the kitchen, quacking as they go. It almost sounds like they’re laughing as Prettyman tries to keep up! Finally, they spot the sliding door leading to the backyard, which their host has left open for them.
The footage shows the adorable ducks scampering out the backdoor and over Prettyman’s wooden porch. Momma duck must have decided she wasn’t ready to enter the property market just yet. After all, she already has a lot of children without having to worry about a human housemate as well.
The video shows momma leading her fluffy ducklings over the paved gravel walkway with Prettyman close behind. At the end of his backyard there’s a wire fence that the ducklings have no problem squeezing between. However, it’s a different issue for mommy duck.
The momma duck is too big to get out the same way, so the fence now separates her from her babies. The ducklings seem distressed that mommy’s trapped and run back to wait for her. Meanwhile, mom’s pacing along the inside of the fence, looking for a way out.
Fortunately, Prettyman is not only an excellent host, but he’s also a gentleman. When he sees her struggling, he opens the metal gate for mommy duck with a “Here you go, buddy.” Although she hesitates briefly, mom soon seizes her opportunity to run through the exit.
As for the ducklings, they soon realize mom’s free and waddle over for a reunion. Together, they run towards the lake outside Prettyman’s house and back to nature where they belong. It’s the best place for them, anyway; living indoors would drive them quackers.