Casual query to spouse: "How much trouble would I be in if you came home one day and we had a couple ducklings living in our house?"
Spouse's reply: "You wouldn't be in any trouble at all. Ducklings are cute."
And, really, that was all it took. You see, we live in a restricted area for livestock. Draconian HOA by-laws have put the unequivocal kibosh on all sorts of poultry. Boo and hiss. BUT, I found a website from which one can order Mallard ducklings. Now, Mallards are common in our area (aren't they common everywhere?). Should a mating pair take up residence in our backyard, who could accuse us of violating the homeowners' covenant? Nobody need ever know that they were hand-raised in our house for 4 months before quacking about our property. Nobody need ever know that they imprinted on us as giant, wingless duck parents. Ha!
And the bonus of ducks is this: they are apparently excellent property protectors. Not that they'd stop a home invasion; but, there is this little dust mop of a yappy neighbor dog that makes its nasty presence known and felt in our backyard daily. I think that watching a couple ducks chase it off our property -- preferrably with many gleeful nips on its tail (see: Angus and the Ducks) -- would pretty much be the bomb-diggetty!
Double bonus is this: this foray into fowl fun will be a test case of baby bird care for when I finally commence my underground chicken ranching. Oh, it's gonna be so sweet!