She's 80 now. Lonely and the town is up against her, it seems. This is, Massachusetts, after all...there can be no fun had. (See previous post)
Says Claire Butcher, set to face a judge on January 13 who will decide if she'll be jailed for violating a "No Feeding The Wildlife" city ordinance.
"When I first moved here in 1966,” she recalled, “no one would complain. Now we have these new people moving onto the pond who don’t like it. They want to control the pond. I can’t understand it.”
“I turned to the animals to console me,” she says. “And they do.”But here in The Commonwealth, that can't be. What if a child were to walk by and had wanted to feed a particular duck, but that duck chose Claire's bread crumb instead? That could lead to hurt feelings, discrimination lawsuits etc.
“They are the reason I get up in the morning,” she continued as the ducks surround her. “ They get me out of bed. I know they are waiting for me.”
However, according to lawyer Vincent Phelan:
“She’s making a mess out there, the neighbors have been complaining for years.”Counters Butcher:
Phelan says duck poop is “making it impossible for people to enjoy” the park.
“Their love is unconditional,” she says. “They fill that emptiness in life.”
“Maybe,” she says, “if we had more love in the world, it would be a better world to live in.”
“Of course I am afraid,” she says. "I don’t think I would do too well in jail.”
Still, she says she's more afraid of life without her birds.
Attorney Phelan who works for the Lynn City Council can be reached here and here.