Ducklings in Public Garden don pink knitted hats
The “Make Way For Ducklings” statues in the Public Garden have had a few wardrobe changes this week.
On Tuesday, the bronze creatures were dressed in New England Patriots gear — Mrs. Mallard was wearing a winter beanie and a blue-and-red scarf — to get the city fired up for this weekend’s playoff clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium.
But by Thursday morning, the articles of clothing gracing the bronze birds took on a more political tone: on each of their tiny heads were the knitted pink “pussy hats” that thousands of people are planning to wear during nationwide protests of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration this week.
The hats, which feature cat-like ears at each end, are a visually symbolic reference to a lewd remark made by Trump in 2005 that was caught on a hot mike, and later released publicly during the runup to the election.
Allison Kroner snapped a picture of the ducklings wearing the handmade hats around 8 a.m. Thursday.
She said in an e-mail to the Globe that she first noticed the brightly-colored attire earlier that morning, around 6:30 a.m., as she made her way to an exercise class. (She took the picture on the way back).
“I think it’s great,” said Kroner. “The hats are meant to signal solidarity between those standing up for the rights of everyone, in particular minorities and vulnerable populations, against what many fear will be an intolerant administration. Having the ducklings, a Boston institution, in on the ‘secret’ is especially heartening.”
The tiny sculptures are long-time fixtures of Boston. Created by artist Nancy Schön, they were installed at the park in 1987 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Public Garden, according to the city’s website.
Susan Abell, a spokeswoman for the Friends of the Public Garden, which works in partnership with Boston Parks to tend to the Boston Common, Commonwealth Mall, and the Public Garden said the group does not comment on the duckling attire.
They also don’t know who is responsible for the various outfits that have been slipped onto the ducklings since they first arrived.
“We do not know who dresses up the ducklings,” Abell said in an e-mailed statement. “It truly is a mystery. No one has ever come forward that we know about.”