My dad was a 33 year Marine SgtMaj with a number of tours in both Korea and Vietnam. He told me many a tale of high adventure when I was a young boy. No doubt this may have had some influence on my life choices but it’s a discussion for another day.
He once told me a story about a python his Recon outfit had while in Vietnam. They figured keeping a python as a unit pet was a great symbol of their martial prowess. Only tough, rugged, fighting men would keep such a dangerous predator as a live totem of their lethality in the jungle. Renown ambush hunters, pythons strike and kill their prey by constricting them then swallowing them whole.
They housed this Burmese beast in a cage back at camp and on occasion would throw in live animals for it to devour at its leisure. One evening they threw a live duck into the cage and bid their reptilian friend a bon appetite.
The next day they woke up to find the python dead with the duck violently pecking at its head. The Marines promptly got rid of the dead serpent and kept the duck instead. Thus, ‘Super Duck’ became the new mascot of a reconnaissance company in the green hell of Vietnam.