Michael Hubbard: 1959-2014â€˜Duck Manâ€™ toted feathered friend wherever he wentBy Leila Fujimori
Michael Hubbard walked around HonoÂlulu for 21â„2 years with a black-and-white pet duck on his shoulder.
The homeless man was a common sight from Waikiki to Hawaii Kai to Kailua, often catching TheBus with his duck inside his backpack, sharing crackers and bread with his feathered companion.
"Some bus drivers were nice about the duck, and others would not allow the duck on," said his mother, Pat Craft of Lady Lake, Fla.
Police officers would often stop to say, "How you doing, Duck Man?â€ˆHow's your duck doing?"
Hubbard reportedly fell against a tree March 6, and a nurse witnessing the fall called an ambulance. He was rushed to the Queen's Medical Center, where he died, a month short of his 55th birthday, his mother said.
"But he didn't have his little duck," Craft said.
Born in Dallas, Hubbard moved to HonoÂlulu from Florida four years ago with the intention of rejoining the Merchant Marine.
But his plans didn't pan out and he became homeless, his mother said.
"He was going to do so good," Craft said. "It just went from good, bad to worse. I sent him money, but he didn't use his money wisely."
Hubbard had adopted the duckling after it had been shot in the eye with a BB gun, Craft said. He named it Duke and it went wherever he did.
Hubbard later learned he was a she, renamed her Daisy and put a lei on her.
Once, when a man hit Daisy with a stick, Hubbard threw a rock at him, resulting in his arrest.
"Mike was just defending the duck," Craft said.
When he went to Circuit Court with his duck in his backpack in April 2013, security screeners stopped him when they saw something moving inside the backpack as it passed through the X-ray machine.
After his initial refusal, Hubbard reluctantly opened the backpack, and screeners found the duck and a bottle of beer inside, a Department of Public Safety spokesÂwoman said.
"They handcuffed him and put him against the wall," Craft said.
So he asked the screeners if they would look after Daisy and his belongings while he went inside. They agreed, and he went to his appointment while the duck waited outside.
The disposition of the court case is unclear.
Hubbard was known to panhandle with Daisy, and the duck always drew the curious.
"People would go crazy over that duck, and people would give him donations," Craft said.
The cause of death is pending, Craft said, but police and the medical examiner told her there was no apparent foul play.
Craft said her son was in and out of the hospital due to heart problems and had triple-bypass surgery at 42.
She spoke to him the day he died, and he had taken painkillers after having three teeth extracted.
Craft will follow her son's wishes and have his ashes scattered near the HonoÂlulu Harbor dock for American Shipping Line, a company he had worked for, she said.
Daisy's whereabouts remain a mystery.
"He loved that duck so dearly," Craft said.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased